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Australia out as Sri Lanka progress

Holders Australia exited the Champions Trophy courtesy of a 20-run defeat to Sri Lanka at The Oval, which put Angelo Mathews’ side through to the semi-finals.

Having lost to England and suffered a rain-hit no-result against New Zealand, Australia required a comprehensive victory in south London but ultimately fell some way short.

Sri Lanka were put into bat and posted 253 for eight on the back of a superb innings of 84 not out from Mahela Jayawardene, who moved beyond 11,000 one-day international runs.

Needing to overhaul their opponents’ score in 29.1 overs to qualify with a superior net run-rate to New Zealand, Australia made a brisk start before being dismissed for 233 in the 43rd over.

As a result, Sri Lanka join England - who are confirmed as Group A winners - in the semi-finals, with New Zealand and Australia missing out.

Sri Lanka will take on Group B winners India at Cardiff Wales Stadium on Thursday, 24 hours after England’s last-four meeting with South Africa.

Australia - once again led by George Bailey in the absence of injured captain Michael Clarke - predictably came out all guns blazing at the start of their chase, but quickly lost Shane Watson, who was bowled by Nuwan Kulasekara in the second over.

Glenn Maxwell, promoted to three, did his best to keep his side’s qualification hopes alive with a powerful and inventive 32.

Yet wickets understandably fell at regular intervals as Australia attempted to keep their foot firmly on the accelerator.

Maxwell was the third batsman to fall, deceived by a slower delivery from Lasith Malinga, and the subsequent exits of George Bailey and Mitchell Marsh left the score reading 80 for five.

Although Adam Voges and Matthew Wade contributed 49 and 31 respectively, Australia’s failure to qualify was soon confirmed.

A doughty 10th-wicket stand of 41 between Clint McKay and Xavier Doherty threatened to send Sri Lanka out as well, but Angelo Mathews’ men were able to celebrate when Tillakaratne Dilshan, pictured above, held a wonderful return catch to dismiss McKay for a career-best 30.

Kusal Perera and Kumar Sangakkara had earlier fallen cheaply at the start of Sri Lanka’s innings, but Dilshan and Lahiru Thirimanne steadied the ship by sharing 72.

The latter went on to contribute 57 before becoming the second of three victims for Mitchell Johnson.

Jayawardene was into his stride by that stage and kept the score ticking over nicely for the remainder of the innings as Sri Lanka posted a competitive total.

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