The goal was not too big. The 259-run target is not a big deal in this era, and where there are David Warner, Glaces Maxwell and Pat Cummins in the Australian team, it is no more for them. But the fact that the wicket at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo today was not just an open-handed run was evident in all four spinners in the Sri Lankan team. In the end, Chajit Asalanka batted first and Sri Lanka scored 256 runs in the 110-run innings. The match went to the last ball in the fight of Pat Cummins, but in the end, the Sri Lankans celebrated the series victory after 30 years with a breathtaking 4-run victory over Australia.
The team’s top order batsmen were at the heart of Sri Lanka’s success in the series against Australia. Some of the top order got runs in every match. In the previous match, Patum Nisanka led the team to victory in a great innings. Asalanka lit up with the bat today. With him Dhananjaya de Silver 60; Besides, Dunith Vellalag’s 19 and Vanindu Hasaranga’s 21 off 20 balls made 258 runs on the Sri Lankan scoreboard. This collection could have been more. But that did not happen in the run out of three batsmen (Dasun Shanaka, Jeffrey Vanderse and Mahish Tikshana). Matthew Cuneman, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Marsh took two wickets each for Australia. Glenn Maxwell took one wicket.
The Sri Lankans averaged 256 runs in Asalanka’s century
Asalanka scored 256 runs in the century
Batting for 259, Sri Lanka lost to Aaron Finch early on. Mitchell Marsh then returned for 6 runs. Australia were in some danger when they lost to Marnus Labushan for 101 runs. But the opening batsman David Warner was holding one end. But he could not take Australia to the port of victory. Returned at a great inopportune time. Warner was dismissed for 99 for the first time in his career. Dhananjaya de Silva brought him back on the path of victory of the Lankans. Warner was caught behind the wicket by wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella. Warner made 99 off 112 balls. He had 12 fours in his innings. Today’s innings is a new experience for Warner. Earlier in 2016, against India (Canberra) and New Zealand (in Wellington), he returned to the ‘shaky nineties’, but it is a new experience for him to come back so close to the century.
Warner returned with 99 runs in the first ODI of his career
Warner returned with 99 runs in the first ODI of his career: AFP
The Sri Lankan spinners did not allow Australia to stand today. They were the ones holding the reins of the Australian team in a conducive environment. Their four spinners Vanindu Hasaranga, Dunith Vellaleg, Dhananjaya de Silva and Jeffrey Vanders shared 7 wickets each. Among the Australian batsmen, Mitchell Marsh (26), Marnus Labushan (14), Alex Carey (19) and Travis Head (26) scored runs but they were not enough for the team. Cameron Green scored 13 runs towards the end. However, after Warner’s return, when the fate of the match was definitely in Sri Lanka’s favor, it was Pat Cummins and Matthew Kuneman who brought it to their side. In the ninth wicket partnership, he raised hopes again with 16 off 20 balls. However, in the last wicket, Cummins and Josh Hazlewood scored 14 runs off 6 balls and Australia came very close to victory. Shanaka won the match by returning Kunemen (15 off 12 balls).