Australia in Sri Lanka, 5 ODI Series, 2022 |4th ODI |6/21/2022 R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
That's a wrap to this close game. Sri Lanka have an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series now and that makes the final ODI a dead rubber. An inconsequential game after so long as this series is not a part of the 2020-23 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Super League. Australia though will look to win the last game and take some momentum into the Test series. Do join us on Friday, 24th June 2022, for all the action, starting at 2.30 pm IST (9 am GMT). You can join us in advance for the build-up. Until then, it's goodbye and cheers!
Dasun Shanaka, the victorious captain of Sri Lanka, starts by talking about the last over and feels it was the right idea for him to bowl. Adds that he was very confident about the total they put on the board. Calls that it's unfortunate that they didn't do well at the death. States that this win is much-needed for the country and will be celebrated by all the Sri Lankans.
Aaron Finch, the captain of Australia, says that the series has gone the same way the previous few games have. Mentions that any time they looked like getting a big partnership, they lost a wicket. Tells that they know how hard it is to start in these conditions against good spin. Finch feels that the target was very gettable and they got very close. Mentions that in a couple of chases, they had the game in hand, but lost wickets at the wrong time. States that had someone batted a little longer with Warner, the result could have been different.
Charith Asalanka (110) is chosen for the Player of the Match award. Says that it was a strong challenge and credits Dhananjaya de Silva for his knock that allowed Charith to settle down. Shares that the pitch was similar to the last game but it spun more later in the game. Mentions that the plan was to bat till the 40th over and then go for the big hits, and they were targeting 250 runs.
Stay tuned for the presentation...
Earlier in the afternoon, Australia opted to bowl and picked three wickets in Powerplay 1. But they lost the plot in the middle overs and the knocks from Dhananjaya de Silva and Charith Asalanka stole the momentum. The Aussies did manage to come back at the death and bundle the Lankans out in 49 overs for a below-par total but their batting imploded and they failed to keep the series alive.
The chase for Australia started on the wrong note with Aaron Finch falling very early. David Warner though got his head down and concentrated on building partnerships. With Mitchell Marsh, Marnus Labuschagne, Alex Carey and Travis Head, Warner kept on stitching stands and maintained a nice tempo in the chase. Australia looked like firm favourites at one stage but Sri Lanka made a resounding comeback by dismissing Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell and David Warner in the space of 9 balls to throw this match wide open. Pat Cummins and Cameron Green tried to wrestle some control back through their stand, as the asking rate was not very demanding, but Sri Lanka struck back to remove them and registered a close win.
It was the David Warner show for Australia in the chase. The Australians are criticised for being clueless against the spinners but on a pitch conducive for spin bowling and against an army of spin bowlers, the Aussies applied themselves, showed fine skills and temperament, and navigated through the challenging period with aplomb. Warner mixed caution with aggression, dealt with the spinners with excellent footwork, played and missed many times, but stayed focused to do the job. His presence never allowed the required rate to creep up, and Sri Lanka spent most of the time on the back foot. But just when it looked like Australia will overcome the trial by spin, things went awry for them.
Well tried, Matthew Kuhnemann! He didn't throw in the towel and gave a real scare to Sri Lanka. This match appeared done once the final over started but Kuhnemann fetched a couple of boundaries to make things interesting. Eventually, the Lankan skipper held his nerve and the hosts won the series, their first bilateral ODI series win against Australia since 2010, with a game to go.
Dasun Shanaka to Matthew Kuhnemann, OUT! CAUGHT! Sri Lanka win the match by 4 runs and clinch the series with one game to go. Finally, Dasun Shanaka takes the pace off the ball and lands it around middle and off, Matthew Kuhnemann steps back to make room and lofts it unconvincingly to extra cover. Charith Asalanka, the centurion of this match, gets under it and fittingly ends the game. The Lankan players are ecstatic.
There is a mini-conference. Dasun Shanaka is surrounded by the other senior players. Wanindu Hasaranga perhaps is asking him to stay calm.
Dasun Shanaka to Matthew Kuhnemann, FOUR! Pumped over! Fuller in length and outside off, Matthew Kuhnemann reads the length well, latches onto it and lifts it over mid off for a boundary. 5 needed off 1 ball.
Dasun Shanaka to Matthew Kuhnemann, FOUR! 9 needed off 2 balls. Matthew Kuhnemann is putting up a fight. Short and wide outside off, Matthew Kuhnemann walks across the stumps and spoons it over short fine leg for a boundary. Can Matthew Kuhnemann do it?
Dasun Shanaka to Matthew Kuhnemann, Back of a length and outside off, Matthew Kuhnemann jumps across the stumps and scoops it behind the keeper for a couple of runs. 13 needed off 3 balls.
Dasun Shanaka to Matthew Kuhnemann, FOUR! Full toss outside off, Matthew Kuhnemann gets bat on ball and strokes it from the sweet spot of his bat through cover-point. A boundary results. 15 needed off 4 balls.
Dasun Shanaka to Matthew Kuhnemann, Play and a miss! Full in length and outside off, Matthew Kuhnemann throws his bat at it but there is no connection.
END OF OVER 49 | 6 Runs & 1 Wkt | AUS 240/9
Dasun Shanaka (1-0-13-0) comes back into the attack to bowl the final over.
Chamika Karunaratne to Josh Hazlewood, A slow yorker outside off at 102 kph, Hazlewood flashes his bat at it and misses.
Josh Hazlewood is the last man in. 19 needed off 7 balls.
Chamika Karunaratne to Pat Cummins, OUT! Given lbw! Chamika Karunaratne hurls across a dipping yorker around leg, Cummins tries to heave but misses and is rapped on the back pad. They appeal and the umpire raises his finger. Pat Cummins takes the DRS but is not looking too confident. The UltraEdge finds no bat. The Ball Tracking confirms that it's hitting the leg stump. The crowd roars and this is the final nail in the Australian coffin. That was the plan from Lasith Malinga, to bowl the yorker and Chamika lands one to get rid of Australia's last hope.
Chamika Karunaratne to Pat Cummins, FOUR! Off the edge! Short in length and outside off, Cummins attempts to wheel the pull shot but it takes the top edge and flies over the keeper for a boundary. 19 needed off 8 balls.
Chamika Karunaratne to Pat Cummins, Short and wide outside off, Cummins hangs back and drags his attempted pull off the bottom end of his bat. It goes to long on and Cummins turns down the single.
Chamika Karunaratne to Pat Cummins, Bouncer around off, Cummins leaves. Not called a wide.
Chamika Karunaratne to Pat Cummins, Mishit! Slower one, on a length and outside off, Cummins mistimes his attempted heave over mid-wicket. He gets a single, the fielder fumbles a bit and Cummins returns for the second run. 23 needed off 11 balls.