Sri Lanka recorded a four-run win over Australia in the fourth ODI of the series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on June 21 (Tuesday). The slender victory gave the Dasun Shanaka-led side an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
Following their mammoth chase at the same venue a few days back, expectations were high from the island nation. The spirited side stepped up after being put in to bat by Australia. A shaky start by the openers reduced the hosts to 34-3 in the tenth over.
The onus to rebuild the innings was taken on by the duo of Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva. They put on a vital 101-run partnership for the fourth wicket after which the all-rounder departed for a well-made 61.
Asalanka continued to grind to register his maiden ODI century as the rest of the batting unit collapsed around him. A slew of run-outs at the end of the innings meant that Sri Lanka were dismissed for 258 with an over to spare.
Unleashing their spin onslaught, the hosts were right in the game. Australia were on the receiving end of a heavy blow early on as skipper Aaron Finch departed for a duck.
The spinners ended up being the architects of the win after bowling 43 overs between them. David Warner put up a fighting effort but fell one run short of a hundred. Meanwhile, cameos from Pat Cummins and Matthew Kuhnemann were in vain as the Aussie fell short in the end.
Here are some of the reactions:
Sri Lanka last won an ODI home series against Australia in 1992
The young Sri Lankan side scripted history with their nail-biting win over the five-time champions. The series win marks the island nation’s first ODI series win over the five-time champions in 30 years. Back then, the Arjuna Ranatunga-led side recorded a 2-1 series win in a closely contested series.
Following a memorable win in the final T20I of the series, Sri Lanka seem to have turned a corner. They will hope for more of the same in the upcoming two-match Test series, which is part of the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle.