Sri Lanka clinched an incredible series win over Australia during the fourth ODI of the series in Colombo. In a thrilling game that went to the very last ball of the match at the R Premadasa Stadium, the home side held its nerve to beat Australia by four runs, taking an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 258 with Charitha Asalanka (110) smashing a brilliant century; in reply, Australia could only reach 254, thanks to a disciplined bowling effort from the hosts.
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A nation dealing with its worst economic crisis and high inflation for months finally had something to celebrate, thanks to its cricket team’s incredible win over the Aussie side. This was Sri Lanka’s first home bilateral ODI series win over Australia in three decades.
As Sri Lanka clinched a final-ball thriller, the crowd at the R Premadasa Stadium went wild with its celebrations:
Australia needed 19 off the last over bowled by skipper Shanaka, and No. 10 batter Matthew Kuhnemann (15) hit three boundaries to get the visitors’ equation down to five runs required off the last ball to keep the series alive. But he was deceived by a slower delivery, hitting it straight up in the air for Charith Asalanka to catch in the covers.
In the end, David Warner’s 99 wasn’t quite enough to get the Australians over the line after Asalanka hit a 106-ball 110 and Dhananjaya de Silva scored 60 from 61 deliveries for Sri Lanka.
“Against such a quality attack it was a tough ask and we are glad we came through,” Asalanka said. “I walked in with us three down for not many inside 10 overs. Special credit to Dhananjaya de Silva, who took the pressure off from me with the way he batted.”
Sri Lanka had not beaten Australia in an ODI series since 2010, and hadn’t won a bilateral series at home against the Australians since 1992.
(With inputs from wire)
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