Sri Lanka vs Australia ODI Series | Sri Lanka wins final ball thriller; takes a 3-1 lead against Australia

It was the first time Sri Lanka had defeated Australia in a five-game series. The fifth ODI is on Friday.

It was the first time Sri Lanka had defeated Australia in a five-game series. The fifth ODI is on Friday.

Australia failed at the final ball of their fourth one-day international on Tuesday as Sri Lanka won by four runs to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.

No. 10 batsman Matthew Kuhnemann (15) needed five runs for Australia to beat Sri Lanka straight and stay alive in the five-match streak but was beaten by skipper Dasun Shanaka (1-27) in Colombos R. Premadasa caught stadium.

Australia finished the tournament after 50 overs with 254 points, with David Warner scoring 99 points, after Sri Lanka were sent off in 49 overs with 258 points. Charith Asalanka hit a 106-ball 110 for the hosts and Dhananjaya de Silva scored 60 in 61.

Sri Lanka had not beaten Australia in an ODI series since 2010 and that was in Australia. This was Sri Lanka’s first consecutive bilateral win at home against Australia since 1992.

It was also the first time the hosts defeated Australia in a five-game series.

Australia won the toss and made a brave call to bowl first. The risk almost paid off.

Australia needed 19 from the last over. Kuhnemann hit three boundaries to make five from last ball, or four runs to equal a tie. But the left batter was fooled by Shanaka’s slower delivery, hitting the ball straight up in the air and Asalanka completed the catch from cover.

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“Every time we looked like a partnership, we lost wickets,” said Australian skipper Aaron Finch, who was out for a four-ball canard. “They took advantage of the opportunities. It was a manageable sum. The run rate was under control, but we lost wickets and let it slip out of our hands. If someone hung around David Warner for like another five overs, it could have been a match-winning partnership.”

With the series at stake, the five-time world champion brought in the experienced Pat Cummins in place of Jhye Richardson. However, Mitchell Starc was absent for Australia. The left arm hasn’t played a game since injuring his finger earlier in the series.

Sri Lanka also made a change, bringing in Wanindu Hasaranga (1-52) for fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera.

Australia were on target and in control of the required run rate when Warner and Travis Head (27) added 58 runs for the fifth wicket. Part-timer de Silva then removed both batters in his back-to-back overs.

In the next over, Maheesh Theekshana (1-40) trapped the dangerous Glenn Maxwell (1) as de Silva came back for his last over and Warner had deftly stunned by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella. Australia lost three wickets for adding three runs within eight deliveries.

Warner was unlucky to be dismissed just one run short of his 19th ODI hundred. Across all formats, the opener has not scored an international hundred for more than two years.

There was some resistance from the lower league with Pat Cummins (35) and then Kuhnemann keeping Australia’s chances alive until the final delivery.

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De Silva finished 2-39 in his 10 overs to cement his half-century during the Sri Lankan innings. The middle-ranked batter hit seven fours before being spectacularly caught by Glenn Maxwell. De Silva had added 101 runs for the fourth wicket with Asalanka when Maxwell made a one-handed catch mid-wicket to break the partnership.

Asalanka was the hero for Sri Lanka in his first hundred. He had joined de Silva with the team at 34-3. The pair saved the innings and after de Silva’s dismissal, Asalanka added another 57 for the sixth wicket with Dunith Wellalage (19).

“Against such an quality attack, it was a tough question and we’re glad we got through,” Asalanka said. “I went down with the three of us for not many within 10 overs. Special credit goes to Dhananjaya de Silva, who took the pressure off me with his hitting style.”

Sri Lanka appeared to be 20 runs off but it was just enough.

The fifth ODI is on Friday.

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