About the Match
Australia has already won the ODI series against Sri Lanka 3-1 and the two teams will play the 5th ODI, which remains only as a formality, on 4th September at Pallekele. This is Australia’s third consecutive bilateral series win in Sri Lanka and they will leave no stone unturned to squash the efforts of the hosts in the last match on Sunday. The Lankan batting line-up yet again crumbled like a pack of cards, being able to muster only 212 runs batting first; the bowlers faced a big challenge against the sturdy Aussie middle order and they lost the match and series by 6 wickets. The hosts will try for redemption with a better performance and can try to register a face-saving win here.
Barring Dhananjaya de Silva and Mathews, the entire top-order was dismissed quickly within 10 overs and the scoreboard at 115; while de Silva went on to score 76 from 87 deliveries, Mathews posted 40 runs after retiring hurt and coming back to stay till the last over of the innings. However, with the lack of support from the middle order batsmen, the captain could only take the total to 212.
Spinner Sachith Pathirana did well to take 3-37 in 8 overs and caused upsets in the Aussie top-order but others like Aponso and Thisara Perera, who were successful with the wickets recently, couldn’t impress much. Dilruwan Perera dismissed Travis Head but the Lankans couldn’t stop Bailey and others from scoring the winning runs. The bowling attack has a good mix of pace and spin and they can try to stifle the opposition provided the batsmen post a defendable target if batting first.
Chandimal and Mathews are in good form with the bat and they can stabilize the middle order; with support from others in the top-order, they can try to put up a better fight in the upcoming match.
Speedster John Hastings registered a spectacular 6-wicket haul at an economy of less than 5 runs per over to topple the Lankan batting line-up and restrict them to 212; he was well-supported by other pacemen like Starc and Boland, who took a wicket each and spinners Zampa and Head contributing with 1 scalp each. Chasing 212, Finch gave a solid start with a powerful knock of 55 from just 19 balls; Head showcased his batting skills as he scored 40 while Bailey remained unbeaten and steered the team across the finish line with a well-made 90 from 85 deliveries.
In the 3rd ODI too, the bowlers put up a fierce effort to restrict the hosts to a lowly total and the batsmen hunted the 227-run target down easily; Zampa registered figures of 3-38 in 10 overs while speedsters Starc, Hastings and Faulkner contributed with 2 wickets each to keep the pressure on. The chase saw Bailey top-scoring with 70 off 99 while Wade, Travis Head and Finch played useful knocks to help win the match by 2 wickets.
They have gained momentum match after match and their recent win has given them the series; the Aussies have an in-form bowling and batting unit that can help the team conquer the hosts again.
While Australia has won the series already, they won’t take the upcoming match, which is a dead rubber, lightly; Sri Lanka can try to put up a stiff challenge here but we feel that the Aussies with their morale boosted are better placed to win the 5th and last ODI on Sunday