Usman Khawaja and Cameron Green scored half-centuries as Australia moved into a strong position on a rain-affected day of the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Only 44 overs were bowled at the Galle International Stadium on Thursday after no play was possible in the morning session due to rain and high winds, which brought down the roof of a temporary stand.

The tourists made up for lost time after play got under way at 1.45pm local time, reaching 313-8 in reply to Sri Lanka's 212 all out when the umpires called stumps due to bad light.

The in-form Khawaja made a patient 71 and all-rounder Green struck an excellent 77, while Alex Carey scored a brisk 45 before Pat Cummins smashed an unbeaten 26 off only 16 balls.

Dhananjaya de Silva had Travis Head caught and bowled in the second over of the day and Australia were 157-5 when Khawaja became Jeffrey Vandersay's first Test victim.

Green and Carey then combined for an 84-run stand to put the tourists on top, scoring quickly as they swept with conviction in tricky conditions.

Dinesh Chandimal took an excellent catch running back from mid-off and Green finally fell leg before to Ramesh Mendis, the pick of the bowlers with 4-107, in the final session.

Captain Cummins provided a late flurry of runs to extend his side's lead to 101 at stumps, hitting two sixes in what proved to be the last over the day from Vandersay as Australia put themselves in a great position to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

 

Khawaja purple patch continues

This was another assured knock from Khawaja, who made his 17th Test half-century at the top of the order in what has been a magnificent year for the left-hander.

After scoring two centuries, 91 and 44 not out in the series win over Pakistan, the 35-year-old took his tally of Test runs in 2022 to 822 at a staggering average of 117.42.

Green shows maturity

The 23-year-old Green was not required to bowl as Sri Lanka were dismissed on day one, but he made his mark with the bat.

He became the second-youngest player to score a Test half-century for Australia in Sri Lanka behind the late Phil Hughes (22y 290d in September 2011). Green scored found the rope six times in a composed knock.

Owen Farrell is "very unhappy" to have been replaced as England captain by Courtney Lawes for Saturday's series opener against Australia, head coach Eddie Jones confirmed.

Lawes stepped into the role late last year and, like Tom Curry, went on to captain England during the Six Nations, with Farrell absent due to ankle problems.

Farrell is back in the fold after making a full recovery from those injuries, but it would seem any preconceptions about walking straight back into the captaincy role were misplaced.

The armband has been with Farrell since 2018, meaning Saturday's match will be his first for England without being captain since the 2018 Six Nations.

But given the injury troubles he has had, Jones wants Farrell to focus on his form without the distraction of the key leadership role.

When asked about Farrell's reaction to his decision, Jones said: "Very unhappy.

"Owen is a bloke who expresses his feelings clearly and he wants to be captain. When I told him he wasn't going to be captain, he wasn't very happy. But that's okay.

"Owen's had a fair while out of the team and at this stage we feel it's the best thing for the team and for Owen, because he's a very important player for us.

"He has played 94 Tests for England and he has won every trophy in the world, apart from the World Cup. He's a pretty fair player and he's a very important player for us.

"We want Owen to be at his best and he's been out of the side for a while, so it's an opportunity for him to play three Tests back-to-back and produce his best."

Elsewhere in the team, Danny Care will make his first Test appearance in almost four years, while Henry Arundell, Jack van Poortvliet and Guy Porter are among the replacements and hoping to make their first appearances.

Billy Vunipola is back for his first England outing since the 2021 Six Nations, though Jonny May is absent after testing positive for coronavirus last week.

In total, there will be six changes to England's last Test, a Six Nations loss to France just over three months ago, and Jones is confident his chosen XV has what it takes to challenge the Wallabies.

"We have had very strong preparation for this game," he added.

"We did some good recovery work in Fremantle and quality training in Perth. The squad has come together well since we met up last week.

"Picking the 23 out of this group of 36 was difficult. We feel we have a well-balanced team, which is ready for this improving Australia team. We'll take it to them from the start."

 

England team:  Freddie Steward, Jack Nowell, Joe Marchant, Owen Farrell, Joe Cokanasiga, Marcus Smith, Danny Care; Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Will Stuart, Maro Itoje, Jonny Hill, Courtney Lawes, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

Replacements: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Mako Vunipola, Joe Heyes, Ollie Chessum, Lewis Ludlam, Jack van Poortlviet, Guy Porter, Henry Arundell.

Pat Cummins is excited to have the "luxury" of being able to call upon Mitchell Swepson in the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Australia captain Cummins has confirmed leg-spinner Swepson will play when the two-match series gets under way at the Galle International Stadium on Wednesday.

Swepson made his debut in the longest format during the series victory in Pakistan in March, taking two wickets in as many matches.

With Ashton Agar ruled out due to side strain and Jon Holland nursing a finger injury, the 28-year-old will get another opportunity in a Test that will be dedicated to the late, great Shane Warne four months after he tragically passed away.

Skipper Cummins said: "We're really happy with Swepo. He is bowling beautifully and really ready for this one.

"These conditions … it's quite different to what we experience in Australia. That's the challenge of trying to win overseas.

"A lot of our preparation work has been around trusting our own methods. We might go about it a little bit differently to how Sri Lanka will."

The paceman added: "I think his role here might be slightly different as well. Pakistan we knew was going to be a slow grind and I thought he did his job despite not taking the wickets he would like. He was a really important cog in that bowling engine.

"It's always exciting having a leggie in the side as a captain. It feels like a real luxury to throw him the ball and see him go about it."

Glenn Maxwell could provide another spin option along with first-choice tweaker Nathan Lyon if Travis Head misses out with a hamstring injury.

If World Test Championship leaders Australia take a 1-0 lead in their quest to win the Warne-Muralidaran Trophy, it will be their 400th Test victory. However, Sri Lanka have won each of their past three Tests against Australia on home soil.

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh 1-0 away from home in their last Test series under new head coach Chris Silverwood.


Sri Lanka looking to put Australia in a spin

Captain Dimuth Karunaratne suggested Sri Lanka will select three spinners, with the uncapped Jeffrey Vandersay called up after impressing in a 3-2 ODI series win over Australia.

Lasith Embuldeniya, Praveen Jayawickrama and Ramesh Mendis are the other tweakers in the squad.

Sri Lanka have won eight of their past 12 Tests at Galle International Stadium, including the previous two.

Landmark Test for in-form Khawaja 

Usman Khawaja has had a new lease of life since he was recalled during the 4-0 Ashes hammering of England.

The left-handed batter is set to play in his 50th Test in Galle on the back of an outstanding series in Pakistan - scoring two centuries and making 97 in the first Test.

Khawaja has an average of just 28.4 against Sri Lanka – his second lowest against any team he's played more than one Test against. 

Glen Ella says Eddie Jones will be thriving on coming under fire and expects England to step up when they face Australia in a three-match Test series next month.

The 62-year-old heads back to his homeland with the Red Rose smarting from a chastening warm-up hammering at the hands of the Barbarians following a disappointing Six Nations campaign.

Jones is undefeated against his country of birth during his England tenure, and famously oversaw a series whitewash in 2016.

Ella, a former school-mate of Jones who also played club rugby with him at Randwick and was his assistant six years ago, feels he will conjure up a response with his back against the wall and with key men to return.

"I sit here laughing when I see some of the press that is coming out of England," he told The Guardian. "Some of it is warranted, there’s no doubt about that, but this is what he thrives on.

"They’ll come over here and put three good games together, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

"He thrives under that kind of pressure and that probably brings the best out of him, especially away from England, in an environment that he knows.

"He probably left not on the best terms in Australia but the one thing about Eddie is that he’s got a lot of belief in himself and a lot of belief in his team."

The Wallabies will have a point to prove after failing to get the better of England under Jones and they are a different proposition under Dave Rennie.

"It’s harder coaching a foreign team, as Eddie is finding at the moment, and to win the Australian public over they need to win the series," Ella added.

"But it’s a different Australia these days and especially with the Super Rugby sides on the up, there’s big expectation. England have beaten the Australians eight times under Eddie and so [Australia’s] got a lot to answer for."

 

Alex Carey delivered an important unbeaten 45 as Australia defeated Sri Lanka by four wickets on a difficult pitch in Colombo.

Sri Lanka had sealed their first home multi-game bilateral ODI series victory over Australia in three decades with a game to spare, but made a poor start in the final match on Friday.

Chamika Karunaratne, who came in at number eight, top-scored with a run-a-ball 75 but Kusal Mendis (26), Charith Asalanka (14) and Pramod Madushan (15) were the only other batters to register double figures.

That saw Sri Lanka bowled all for just 160, with Josh Hazlewood (2-22), Matthew Kuhnemann (2-26) and Pat Cummins (2-22) the pick of the bowlers.

Having seen Sri Lanka struggle in bowler-friendly conditions, Australia began their chase in similarly slow fashion, falling to 19-3 after losing David Warner (10), Aaron Finch (0) and debutant Josh Inglis (5).

Mitchell Marsh (24) and Marnus Labuschagne (31) steadied the ship, though, before Carey produced his patient.

Carey was ably supported by Glenn Maxwell's flurry of 16 from 17 deliveries, while Cameron Green stepped up with an impressive, unbeaten 25 that included one six and two fours as Australia avoided a series whitewash.

Hazlewood recovers

Hazlewood has struggled when facing Sri Lanka in ODIs, registering a bowling average of 96 – his poorest in the format against any side – before this game.

However, the paceman found his form, and is now just three wickets away from picking up 100 dismissals in 50-over international cricket.

Sri Lanka come unstuck

Sri Lanka have thrived against Australia by producing pitches to favour their spinners, though that plan was the reason they came unstuck this time out.

Having faltered here, Sri Lanka missed the chance to record four consecutive ODI wins over Australia at home for the first time since a run of four between September 1994 and September 1996.

Jonny May has tested positive for coronavirus just eight days before the first Test between England and Australia, leaving the winger's availability uncertain.

May was named as part of Eddie Jones' 36-man touring squad for the three-Test series, which starts on July 2 in Perth.

The 32-year-old has played 69 times for England but could struggle to feature in the opening Test, with May having to spend seven days in isolation as local regulations in Australia stipulate.

May, who is England's second top try scorer in history, missed the Six Nations after undergoing knee surgery in January, making his international comeback in the 52-21 thrashing to the Barbarians last Sunday.

Head coach Jones could be without his star winger but refused to rule him out ahead of the clash with the Wallabies.

"We're not going to rule Jonny May out at this stage. We'll just see how he is," Jones said on Friday.

"Potentially he'll be available next Thursday to train, so we'll have a look to see what he's like because he's experienced and he's showed in his first game back against the Barbarians that he's lacking game time and that he's got his best rugby ahead of him.

"We'll just monitor his situation and make an assessment closer to the day when he gets out."

New coach Chris Silverwood celebrated a first ODI series victory with Sri Lanka as his team secured an unassailable 3-1 lead over Australia in Colombo.

It ended Sri Lanka's 30-year wait since their last home triumph in a bilateral ODI series against Australia.

Defeat to Australia in the Ashes scuppered Silverwood's hopes of remaining in charge of England earlier this year, but his new team got the better of the men in yellow on Tuesday.

Replying to Sri Lanka's 258 all out, Australia could only manage 254, losing Matthew Kuhnemann to the last ball of their innings when five runs were required for victory.

Charith Asalanka made a maiden ODI hundred to anchor the home team's innings, reaching 110 before he holed out just inside the deep midwicket boundary, Aaron Finch taking the catch off Pat Cummins' bowling.

Asalanka lived dangerously early on, with a delivery from Cummins seemingly skimming the stumps but not removing the bails; however, he soon found form and hoisted Cummins for six shortly before being the eighth man out. Sri Lanka's main failing was in slumping from 256-7 after 47.3 overs to their final total.

They had recovered well from 34-3, thanks to Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva (60) putting on 101 for the fourth wicket, but Australia fancied their task in the chase despite losing captain Finch for a duck in the third over.

The tourists were firmly in the hunt while David Warner remained at the crease, but somebody else needed to step up when the opener fell for 99 to leave Australia 192-7 in the 38th over.

Cummins, the Test captain, accepted the invitation but was pinned lbw for 35 by Chamika Karunaratne late in the 49th over. Kuhnemann made it a desperately difficult final over for Dasun Shanaka, taking 14 from the bowler's first five deliveries; however, the Australia tail-ender hoisted the next delivery high and into the grateful hands of century-maker Asalanka.


Long wait comes to an end

Aravinda de Silva was the star man when Sri Lanka won their three-match home ODI series against Australia in 1992, and it has been three decades of waiting for another such triumph to come around. Now the target for Silverwood will be to deliver performances such as these on a consistent basis.

Now Australia face questions

Sri Lanka made a mess of each end of their batting innings, but the middle order held up. Tuesday's success was a third successive ODI match win over Australia in ODIs, the first time Sri Lanka have achieved that since a three-game streak in February and March 2012.

Australia, who lost 2-1 to Pakistan in April, have lost back-to-back series in the format for the first time since March 2020.

Eddie Jones believes that England have a strong squad for the tour of Australia despite injury absences as he highlighted the importance of the upcoming matches ahead of next year's World Cup.

The three-Test tour begins in Perth on July 2 and England head into it on the back of Sunday's 52-21 drubbing at the hands of the Barbarians on Sunday.

Significant absentees include Alex Dombrandt, Manu Tuilagi, Sam Simmonds and Kyle Sinckler, leading Jones to recall Billy Vunipola, who was last capped in the 2021 Six Nations, and eight uncapped players have also been selected.

While there are big names absent and uncapped players among the roster, Jones believes that the squad is more than capable of making a positive impression in the tour.

"Though we have ten players unavailable due to injury, we have picked a very strong squad capable of winning the series," he told a news conference.

"This squad is a real mix of young, talented players and some very experienced, senior players and we're looking forward to bringing the group together.

"This tour will be a great experience for the group and a crucial part of the team's work towards the World Cup in 2023. We will continue to develop the base of the squad and how we want to play.

"We've put a lot of work into preparing for the tour over the past few weeks but now the hard work really begins when we finally get the squad on the plane and to Australia."

On the injuries that have plagued the side, he added: "It's no concern because I can't control it. We can only pick from the players we have available. And I think generally now in a four-year cycle the only time you get close to having 100 per cent of your is the World Cup, with that three-month lead up."

Jones' next big decision is on who will captain the side in the absence of Owen Farrell, and he confirmed that call will be made once the squad arrives in Perth.

"Well once we get into Perth we'll start preparing and we'll announce the captaincy in due course," he added.

Billy Vunipola and Danny Care have returned to the England fold as head coach Eddie Jones announced the squad for the upcoming tour to Australia.

Vunipola has not featured for England since last year's Six Nations, but comes into the squad after injuries to Alex Dombrandt and Sam Simmonds.

The 29-year-old suffered a head injury in Saracens' Premiership final loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday but is fit to join up with an England side that were hammered 52-21 by the Barbarians at Twickenham on Sunday.

Care also features, having not earned a cap since 2018, as England's most-capped international and fellow scrum-half Ben Youngs stays at home due to family reasons.

Jones has included eight uncapped players in the 36-man squad.

Fraser Dingwall, Tommy Freeman, Guy Porter, Patrick Schickerling, Jack van Poortvliet, Jack Walker, Henry Arundell and Will Joseph will hope for their first competitive caps Down Under.

England have not played in Australia since 2016, when they won all three of the games. They also overcame the Wallabies in the quarter-finals of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and are on an eight-match winning streak against their old rivals.

Jones' side ultimately went on to lose the final to South Africa, but they are turning their attention to next year's World Cup in France as they look for their first title since 2003.

England will open the series against Australia in Perth on July 2, before games in Brisbane and Sydney.

England squad in full

Forwards: Ollie Chessum, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Tom Curry, Charlie Ewels, Ellis Genge, Jamie George, Joe Heyes, Jonny Hill, Nick Isiekwe, Maro Itoje, Courtney Lawes, Lewis Ludlam, Bevan Rodd, Patrick Schickerling, Will Stuart, Sam Underhill, Billy Vunipola, Mako Vunipola, Jack Walker, Jack Willis.

Backs: Henry Arundell, Danny Care, Joe Cokanasiga, Fraser Dingwall, Owen Farrell, Tommy Freeman, George Furbank, Will Joseph, Joe Marchant, Jonny May, Jack Nowell, Guy Porter, Harry Randall, Jack van Poortvliet, Marcus Smith, Freddie Steward.

Eddie Jones finds it laughable to hear Gareth Southgate coming in for heavy criticism after the England football team's poor Nations League results.

England rugby union head coach Jones says those rushing to judge Southgate's aptitude as boss of the Three Lions are showing they have short memories.

Southgate led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and to the Euro 2020 final, but two defeats to Hungary either side of draws with Germany and Italy have led to a backlash.

There has been a clamour among some impatient supporters for Southgate to be replaced before the World Cup gets under way in November.

Jones said he "100 per cent" understood the position in which Southgate finds himself, having faced flak himself over England's rugby results.

He also pointed to the upturn in English cricketing fortunes this month as another sign of how fickle England fans can be, with the team emerging from a desperate rut in the Test game and suddenly being hailed as world-beaters.

"I find English sport amusing in that way," Jones said.

"English cricket two weeks ago didn't know what they were doing, complete debacle. They win two Tests, and now where can they go? They can go to Australia and they can beat Australia in the Ashes with 10 men, they're that good now.

"And English football, they were the darlings, and they lose a couple of games and you can see their players are probably struggling after a hard season, and now they're the worst thing since sliced bread.

"So everyone takes a turn in the chair. We've had our turn in the chair, and hopefully we'll move to a chair on the more comfortable side now."

Jones and Southgate have previously met to exchange coaching ideas, and both will hope those pay off in the big tournaments that lie ahead.

England's rugby side suffered a dismal Six Nations at the start of the year and travel to face Australia in three Tests next month.

Speaking on BBC 5 Live Sport, Jones said his team were in a rebuilding process, with the focus on shaping a unit to be competitive at the Rugby World Cup next year in France.

"There's always criticism when you don't win – particularly when you're with England there's a lot of criticism – but we know we've got to go through the process of rebuilding the team and sometimes that's a bit uncomfortable," Jones said.

He said the Australia series was an "opportunity to create new history", but there will be a poignant reunion Down Under for Australian Jones, too.

"I haven't been back to Australia since 2019, so I get to see my mother, who's now 97, and she rang me this morning and said, 'Make sure you win'," Jones said. "So you can see where I get my competitive spirit from."

Sri Lanka produced a scintillating display with the ball to level up the ODI series against Australia, with the tourists bowled out for 189 at the end of a frustrating rain-interrupted contest in Kandy.

Chamika Karunaratne (3-47) claimed three wickets after the impressive Dhananjaya de Silva (2-26) had sent both Aaron Finch (14) and David Warner (37) packing when play resumed after a rain stoppage reduced the match to a 43-over contest.

That meant Pat Cummins' (4-25) earlier heroics with the ball counted for nought, as Australia failed to follow Tuesday's thrilling run chase with another victory.

Australia had started well after Finch won the toss, with Matthew Kuhnemann dismissing Pathum Nissanka for 14, which was swiftly followed by Cummins sending Danushka Gunathilaka (18) and De Silva packing (34).

Tuesday's hero Glenn Maxwell (2-35) contributed on the bowling front this time around as he dealt with Kusal Mendis (36) and Charith Asalanka (13).

That saw Sri Lanka stumble to 220-9 before the rain stoppage, but the hosts were a different animal in the field after play resumed.

De Silva got the ball rolling with the dismissals of Finch and Warner, before Maheesh Theekshana's catch off Steve Smith (28) saw the tide turn decisively in the hosts' favour.

After Travis Head (23) and Marnus Labuschagne (18) succumbed to Dunith Wellalage (2-25), each of Maxwell (30), Alex Carey (15), Cummins (4), Mitchell Swepson (2) and Kuhnemann (1) fell during a disappointing three-over collapse.

Home attack comes good  

After failing to see off the outstanding Maxwell at the tail end of another rain-interrupted contest on Tuesday, the Sri Lankan attack was a different beast this time around, with De Silva wrecking the tourists' top order before Karunaratne took charge.

Karunaratne had been questioned after failing to take a single wicket in the series opener, but showed his quality with a crucial three-wicket haul.

Cummins brilliance counts for nought 

Another man who struggled with the ball on Tuesday but came good in the second ODI was Australia's Cummins, whose four wickets included two of the hosts' top four batsmen and saw Sri Lanka set a seemingly weak target of 220.

However, it counted for nothing as Australia were desperately poor after taking up the bat, Warner top-scoring with just 37 during a demoralising defeat.

Glenn Maxwell was delighted to be able to keep his cool and smarts under pressure after guiding Australia to a two-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Tuesday's ODI with a Man of the Match knock.

Maxwell arrived at the crease at 189-5, requiring 113 off 84 deliveries in pursuit of chasing Sri Lanka's 300-7 in a rain-affected game in Kandy.

The Australian all-rounder bludgeoned a thrilling unbeaten 80 from 51 balls to guide the tourists home with nine balls to spare on D/L method.

Maxwell's knock included 12 boundaries, with six fours and six sixes, reaching his half-century from 35 balls, before accelerating to finish the job and take a 1-0 lead in the five-game ODI series.

"Certainly is [a satisfying knock], coming in when I did," Maxwell said after the game.

"There were a few wickets down and we were under a bit of pressure. To be able to hold together at the end and play, as [coach Andrew McDonald] Ronnie just said, one of my 'smarter innings,' is nice.

"And when conditions aren't as favourable for the batting side, that was really pleasing."

Maxwell's innings came amid pressure from Sri Lanka's Wanindu Hasarange who claimed 4-58 including the wickets of Alex Carey and Pat Cummins with Maxwell down the other end.

"I was just trying to stay out there as long as I could," said Maxwell, who took 15 runs off Maheesh Theekshana in the 37th over to lower the run rate required below six.

"I knew I was going to get balls to score off in my areas at some stage, and I was just trying to take risks at the right time.

"I think when the left arm spinner came back on, I think there was only three overs left, I think that was a good opportunity to try and get the run rate down under six, and then try and do it in the next over without letting it get to the last over because all sorts of chaos could happen in the last."

Australia skipper Aaron Finch praised Maxwell for his decisive knock.

"That innings by Maxwell, that was pure class," Finch said. "Showed a lot of skill, lot of game smarts as well. Fantastic chase.

"We were always one wicket behind where we would have liked to have been. We were always two or three down, when we would have liked to have been able to build a partnership but that was an extraordinary innings from Maxwell."

Glenn Maxwell put on a show as he proved decisive in Australia's successful run chase against Sri Lanka, helping the tourists to a two-wicket victory via the DLS method.

Hosts Sri Lanka set Australia a tricky – albeit achievable – target of 301 in the first contest of a five-match ODI series after a solid batting effort and they then produced some fine performances with the ball.

But Australia, whose chase was interrupted by rain, had enough firepower to reach the adjusted target of 282 with nine balls to spare, Maxwell essential to the cause at the end with a brilliant 80 not out off 51 balls.

Sri Lanka's steady start led to Danushka Gunathilaka (55) and Pathum Nissanka (56) enjoying an encouraging opening stand of 115.

Both were taken shortly after getting their half-centuries, but Kusal Mendis marshalled a middle-order recovery from 134-3 with a fine knock of 86 not out.

Wanindu Hasaranga then provided the finishing touches with a lively flurry, hitting 37 off just 19 to give Sri Lanka a competitive total.

Australia's chase got off to a poor start with David Warner snared leg before for a duck by Maheesh Theekshana (1-51), but captain Aaron Finch (44) and Steve Smith (53) got Australia back on track with their partnership of 67 – the latter then enjoyed a stand of 54 with Marnus Labuschagne.

Dunith Wellalage eventually caught Labuschagne off the bowling of Dasun Shanaka for 24 before then claiming the scalp of Smith, his first wicket in international cricket.

Australia's momentum was further slowed by the exceptional Hasaranga (4-58) removing Marcus Stoinis (44), Alex Carey (21) and Pat Cummins (0), but Maxwell proved unstoppable, finishing Sri Lanka off with successive sixes.

To the Max

There was something so effortless and cool about Maxwell's display here. Strutting up to bat with no helmet and just a baseball cap, he had the air of an old pro rocking up for a brief but emphatic stint at his local park.

There was nothing routine about his performance, though. His external composure translated to his cricket as he approached it like a T20 game, hitting 12 boundaries (an even split between fours and sixes) in a devastating knock.

Hasaranga haul in vain

Sri Lanka certainly gave this match their all, and Hasaranga was especially fired up as he attacked Australia with bat and ball.

His fearsome flourish at the end of Sri Lanka's innings made things a little more tense for Australia, while his four-wicket haul, which included the removal of Ashton Agar in the tense closing stages, almost proved decisive.

Unfortunately for him and the hosts, however, Maxwell was just too good. On any other day, Hasaranga would surely be being championed as the man of the match.

Awer Mabil has declared his crucial penalty in Australia's shoot-out victory against Peru was a "thank you" to the nation that took his family in after they fled Sudan.

The 26-year-old gave Australia the lead in sudden death with his side's sixth penalty, then watched on as Andrew Redmayne denied the South Americans as the Socceroos secured a spot in a fifth consecutive World Cup.

That will now signal a remarkable journey for Mabil from a Kenyan refugee camp to the showcase finals in Qatar later this year, and he dedicated his penalty to the nation that took in his family in 2006.

"I knew I was going to score. It was the only way to say thank you to Australia on behalf of my family," he said after Monday's match, which finished 0-0 after extra time.

"I was born in a hut, a little hut. My hotel room here is definitely bigger than the hut, the room we had as a family in that refugee camp.

"For Australia to take us in and resettle us, it gave me and my siblings and my whole family a chance at life.

"That's what I mean by thanking Australia for that chance of life, that chance of opportunity they allowed my family."

Mabil was born in a Kenyan refugee camp after his family fled conflict in Sudan, surviving on one meal a day as a child, but found a distraction in football and hopes his contribution can inspire other refugees.

"I scored, a lot of my team-mates scored, everybody played a part and maybe that refugee kid played a big part," he said.

Australia complete Group D for the World Cup alongside France, Denmark and Tunisia, with their opening game falling on November 22 against Didier Deschamps' defending champions.

Australia qualified for the World Cup after beating Peru 5-4 on penalties following a goalless Intercontinental Play-off in Doha.

Socceroos boss Graham Arnold made the brave decision to substitute goalkeeper and captain Mathew Ryan for Andrew Redmayne ahead of the shoot-out, but was vindicated as the 33-year-old – who danced on his line for the spot-kicks – saved the decisive penalty from Alex Valera.

Peru, 22nd in the FIFA rankings, went in as favourites but started tentatively as Australia made the early running, particularly Martin Boyle who did well to beat two Peru defenders on the right in the 23rd minute before his inviting cross evaded everybody.

Ricardo Gareca's team improved in the second half, but the first shot on target did not arrive until the 81st minute via an Ajdin Hrustic free-kick that never troubled Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, who denied Hrustic two minutes from time with a sweeping shot down to his left from a low Awer Mabil cross.

La Blanquirroja came closest to winning it in extra time as substitute Edison Flores rose to win a header at the far post, but could only hit the woodwork, and so to penalties it went.

Both teams failed with one each from the first five kicks, before Mabil scored and the dancing Redmayne saved from Valera to win it for Australia, who will go into World Cup Group D when they return to Qatar in November to go up against France, Denmark and Tunisia.

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