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Sri Lanka, Australia Face Off in World Cup Cricket Saturday


Sri Lanka takes on defending champion Australia in the finals of the World Cup of Cricket in Bridgetown, Barbados, Saturday, with the Aussies favored to capture a third straight title.

In 13 meetings since the last World Cup, Australia has beaten Sri Lanka nine times. In only three of those games has the victory margin been less than 25 runs or four wickets. However, Sri Lanka won all the matches where the margin was close.

Australia's batsmen also have been dominant in recent play. Matthew Hayden has hit three centuries and scored the most runs of this World Cup tournament.

Nevertheless, Sri Lanka's bowlers have been strong recently, with Lasith Mailinga taking four wickets in four balls against South Africa. Teammates Muttiah Muraltiharan and Chaminda Vaas also have been lethal in this tournament.

Australia has won the World Cup three times -- in 1987, 1999 and 2003. Sri Lanka last won the Cup in 1996.

The match also depends on the pitch condition. Weather forecasts call for morning rain in Barbados. If necessary, the match could be suspended until Sunday or the Duckworth-Lewis method could be employed to adjust the targets for both teams.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.