Sri Lanka, on Tuesday, bagged the five-match ODI series by taking an unassailable lead of 3-1 versus Australia following their 4-runs victory over the visitors in the fourth ODI at Colombo.
It was Sri Lanka's first ODI series win against Australia at home after a long wait of 30 years. Seamer Chamika Karunaratne, Dhananjaya de Silva and leg-spin maestro Jeffrey Vandersay shined with the ball for the home side as each of them bagged two wickets to restrict the visitors to the score of 254.
Earlier, a half-century knock from Dhananjaya de Silva and a brilliant maiden ODI hundred from Charith Asalanka rescued Sri Lanka from the top order collapse and propelled the home side to a respectable total before the team bundled out for 258 in 49 overs.
After putting to bat first, Sri Lanka got off to a dismal start as the hosts lost three wickets inside ten overs. Niroshan Dickwella (1 off 3), Pathum Nissanka (13 off 25) and Kusal Mendis (14 off 21) got out cheaply before de Silva and Asalanka shared a 101-run stand for the 4th wicket to take the home side past the three-run figure.
Dhananjaya de Silva played a quick knock of 61-ball 60 before Mitchell Marsh wiped him out, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 135/4. Charith Asalanka top-scored for the home side, having smacked 110 runs off 106 deliveries, laced with 10 fours and one six.
Later, quick cameos from Dunith Wellalage (19 off 35) and Wanindu Hasaranga (21 off 20) helped Sri Lanka go past the 250-run mark. For Australia, Matthew Kuhnemann, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh scalped two wickets each.
Chasing 259 on a track which was offering plenty of turns, Australia didn't get the ideal start as they lost their skipper Aaron Finch for a duck.
Mitchell Marsh and opener David Warner then joined hands and stitched a 63-run partnership for the second wicket before the former was dismissed by Dunith Wellalage for the score of 26.
Marnus Labuschagne, who scored a 21-ball 14 was next to go after the Sri Lankan spinner Jeffrey Vandersay trapped him lbw. Wicket-keeper batter Alex Carey (19 off 20) followed him as he mistimed the shot off Wanindu Hasaranga and Vandersay made no mistake at long-on.
Travis Head then joined the forces with the lone warrior Warner, who smashed 99 runs off 112 to keep the Aussies alive in the chase. Head looked good as he went on to share a 58-run stand with Warner before de Silva sent him back to the pavilion for the score of 27.
Cameron Green (13 off 25), Pat Cummins (35 off 43) and Matthew Kuhnemann's (15 off 12) late fightback wasn't enough for Australia as the visitors fell just 4-runs short of the target to hand Sri Lanka their third consecutive win in the series.
The final ODI of the five-match, which will be mere a formality for both the sides, will be played in Colombo on Friday (June 24) before Australia proceeds for two tests against the hosts in Galle starting June 29.
Sri Lanka: 258 all out (49.0)
(Asalanka 110, de Silva 60; Marsh 2-29, Cummins 2-37, Kuhnemann 2-56)
Australia: 254 all out (50.0)
(Warner 99, Cummins 35; Karunaratne 2-19, de Silva 2-39, Vandersay 2-40)
Sri Lanka beat Australia by 4 runs.
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