Australian captain George Bailey.
Australian captain George Bailey. Paul Kane / Getty Images

Wet weather could dampen Aussies Champs Trophy chances

MOTHER Nature could stump Australia's bid to win its third consecutive Champions Trophy title.

Bottom-of-the-ladder Australia faces Sri Lanka in its must-win final pool game at The Oval tonight - if the forecast rain for London does not wash out the game.

Wet weather could play a major role in deciding the remaining two semi-finalists, as it already has done after South Africa and India both won through in games shortened by rain.

Chasing South Africa's six for 230 in 31 overs, the West Indies were six for 190 after 26.1 overs when rain ended play and the scores were level according to the Duckworth-Lewis method.

South Africa advanced due to having a better net-run rate than the Windies.

India reached the semis by crushing Pakistan by eight wickets after being set a Duckworth-Lewis target of 102 in 22 overs after a day of rain delays in Birmingham.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan, century-maker against both the West Indies and South Africa, top-scored with 48 for India.

Even if the weather is kind to Aussie captain George Bailey, he and his players will know exactly what they need to do before the game - if the clash between group rivals England and New Zealand went ahead in Cardiff overnight.

A win would put the table-topping Kiwis into the semis, meaning Bailey's side would only need to beat third-placed Sri Lanka, but if second-placed England won, the Aussies must then beat Sri Lanka by a sufficiently large margin to surpass the New Zealander's net run-rate, currently the best in the group.

If both remaining group matches were washed out, England and New Zealand would go through.

But Australian coach Mickey Arthur was not thinking about all the different scenarios - he was planning how to try and combat the yorkers bowled by Sri Lankan quick Lasith Malinga.

"Malinga is a phenomenon. He's the best death bowler in the world without a doubt at the moment," Arthur said.

"We're very fortunate to have played Sri Lanka a lot over the last 15 months.

"We've had two one-day series against them. All our players have faced quite a bit of Malinga and we'll have our plans."

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