IN A THRILLER, SRI LANKA DEFEAT AUSTRALIA BY 4 RUNS, TAKE 3-1 LEAD IN SERIES

Sri Lanka won the match by four runs to take unassailable 3-1 lead in the series. After setting Australia a 259-run target, the hosts took wickets at regular intervals until 19 was needed off the last over. Matthew Kuhnemann made things interesting by hitting three fours in the over to bring down the equation five need off the last ball. However, Dasun Shanaka dismissed the Australian batter to help his script a four-win win. The match went to the last ball and the home side kept their nerves to register a much-needed win. David Warner scored 99 runs but failed to take his team to victory.. Charith Asalanka struck a maiden ODI hundred, and Dhananjaya de Silva breezed to 60, to raise Sri Lanka out of the mire they had been in at 34 for 3. But just as the innings had begun badly, it ended poorly as well – Sri Lanka losing three batters to mix-ups, and their last five wickets for 51 runs, leaving one over unused.

Still, the 101-run fourth-wicket stand between Asalanka and de Silva, plus Asalanka’s associations with Dunith Wellalage (57 runs for the sixth wicket), and Wanaindu Hasaranga (34 for the eighth) saw the hosts lurch their way to 258.

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 through their stand, as the asking rate was not very demanding, but Sri Lanka struck back to remove them and pocket the series.

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.

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