Sri Lankan cricket team produced a superb fighting spirit to record thrilling four runs win over Australia and clinched the ODI series lead 3-1 with one game to spare at the 4th ODI cricket fixture played at R. Premadasa International cricket stadium yesterday.
It was a superb batting display by young Charith Asalanka who made his maiden century well supported by Dhananjaya de Silva while Sri Lankan bowlers well controlled the game from a strong position against spin which paved the way to seal the series win over strong Australia after 30 years in a grand style. The opener David Warner made a superb knock but at the 38th over he was bowled by all rounder Dhananjaya de Silva who got a prized wicket of Warner just one run away his well deserved century while wicket keeper Niroshan Dikwella did his work with a good stumping to dismiss vital wicket of Warner which was the turning point of the game yesterday.
Charith Asalanka was named Man of the Match and his knock of 110 showed his potential against strong bowling line up. Equally strong Sri Lanka’s spin department was led by Wanindu Hasaranga. Australia chasing a target of 259 wanted to get 19 runs to win at the last over which bowled by skipper Dasun Shanaka. But they were bowled out for 254 runs to get fantastic win as well as recorded series win in front of a full capacity of spectators.
Earlier Australia won the toss and choose to bowl first got an early breakthrough on the R. Permadasa Stadium wicket while Sri Lankan openers couldn’t make good start. Niroshan Dikwella (1 in 3 balls) was first to out off the bowling of Glenn Maxwell and number three batter Kusal Mendis who scored 14 in 21 balls with a four and a six bowled by Pat Cummins at the sixth over.
Pathum Nissanka the previous match centurion scored 13 in 25 balls with 2 fours and was back to the pavilion off the bowling of Mitchell Marsh at the tenth over and Sri Lanka were 34 for3 at that stage.
The experienced all rounder Dhananjaya de Silva and Charith Asanka repaired the innings while adding superb 101 runs fourth wicket stand. De Silva scored a solid knock of 60 runs in 61 balls with 7 fours finally out off the bowling of Mitchell Marsh while Glenn Maxwell took a fine catch at mid wicket position.
Charith Asalanka the 24 year left hander playing his 15 ODI got a full responsibility to continue his form. He scored his fifty off 60 balls while reached his maiden ODI century which came in 99 balls with 10 well timed boundaries. The prolific all rounder Asalanka played his knock all over the grounds while skipper Dasun Shanaka was unfortunately run out for 4 runs in 8 balls when the total reached 150 for 5 wickets in 29.4 overs. The 19 year old Dunith Wellalage promoted to bat at number seven scoring fighting knock of 19 in 35 balls with out any boundaries but he roteted the strike with Asalanka to give more chance to collect runs at this important stage.
Two former Richmondites Asalanka and Wanindu Hasaranga who replaced for injured Dushmantha Chameera added 34 runs valuable eight wickets stand but Australians bowlers fought back strongly to skittle out Sri Lankans for 258 all out with one over to spare.
Asalanka was top scored 110 in 106 balls with 10 fours and a six finally out at the 48th over while skipper Aaron Finch took a catch at deep mid wicket off the bowling of Pat Cummins who took 2 for 27 in his 9 over spell.
The return of Wanindu Hasaranga strengthend the Sri Lanka side while they were expected to make strong spin attack, which features Jeffrey Vandersay (legspin), Maheesh Theekshana (mystery spinner), and Dunith Wellalage (left-arm spin) and the spin variation with four specialist slow bowlers.
Sri Lanka have opted to leave out paceman Dushmantha Chameera, which made there was no specialist seam bowler in the team. Allrounders Chamika Karunaratne, and Dasun Shanaka were the only pace-bowling options packed with spinners.
Wanindu Hasaranga who had been out with a groin injury picked up in the first ODI, was well recovered to play this game. However opener Danushka Gunathilaka was remain out with his mild hamstring strain though but his replacement Dikwella was not among the runs once again.
Australia have strengthened their attack yesterday with Pat Cummins was back into the side after missing the third ODI, displacing Jhye Richardson.
Australia had only one specialist spinner – left-arm orthodox bowler Matthew Kuhnemann and off spinner Glenn Maxwell. However Australian used seven bowlers at this game.
The two sides will be played their fifth and final game on Friday (24) at the same venue R.Premadasa Stadium commence from 2.30pm onwards. – daily news