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Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa fire back at ugly criticism in Aussie World Cup win

The Australian captain has been under pressure after the disastrous start to the World Cup.

Adam Zampa celebrates with Marnus Labuschagne andPat Cummins reacts.

Aussie captain Pat Cummins has fired a warning shot at his critics having produced the first two wickets, before an epic run out, to help Australia defeat Sri Lanka and seal their first win at the World Cup. Australia were desperate for a victory in India having lost their opening two matches against the host's and South Africa at the Cricket World Cup.

Australia started off poorly with Kusal Perera (78) and Pathum Nissanka (61) cruising to a 125-run opening partnership. Pressure was piling on captain Cummins with Australia facing a third-straight defeat if they couldn't turn the tide. Former captain Michael Clarke even claimed he had heard the captain would be dropped from the XI ahead of the game.

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However, that was clearly not the case and the captain was the first to step up with the ball to dismiss Nissanka after a great David Warner catch. He then struck a few overs late when he clean bowled Perera.

To finish off his blitz, at 5-186 Cummins also produced a direct hit from a run out opportunity to send Dunith Wellalage back to the dressing room. Ultimately, Adam Zampa (4-47) and Pat Cummins (2-32) helped trigger the collapse of 9-52.

Zampa was battling stomach cramps in his first few overs, but managed to return and help place Sri Lanka in a spin. But it was the captain's two early breakthrough wickets that reignited his World Cup. Before the Sri Lanka win, Cummins had only taken one wicket across the two matches.

He now has three with a run out to his name and his first World Cup win as captain. Fans were full of praise for the way Cummins bounced back to help Australia when in need.

Adam Zampa bounces back to spin out Sri Lanka

Once victory was in their grasp Australia, seeking to boost their net run rate, accelerated to reach the target in the 36th over. Zampa has come under criticism leading into the Sri Lanka game with Australia needing their front-line spinner to fire to have any hopes of making it to the knockout stages.

Zampa had taken the most wickets of any bowler between the 2019 World Cup and the start of the 2023 World Cup, but his form had dipped in the first two games.

Adam Zampa poses with the trophy.
Adam Zampa (pictured) returned to form and won player-of-the-match against Sri Lanka. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images) (Matthew Lewis-ICC via Getty Images)

Criticised for his form to begin the tournament, Zampa said he still had room for improvement once he returned to peak physical condition. "I've been sporting a bit of a back spasm for the last couple of days so I tried to get through this one," said Zampa, who received treatment from physiotherapists throughout the innings in the field.

"I feel like I'm a good critic of myself and I feel like I could be doing better but it's nice to be on the better end of the result tonight."

Zampa admitted it took him a little while to get into the game having left the field for a short time. "It took me a little while to get into the game today, I didn't feel at my best again but I've just got to try and keep that wicket-taking attitude," Zampa added.

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