Sri Lanka scripted history on Tuesday when they defeated Australia in the fourth ODI at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo to mark their first bilateral ODI series win at home over the Aussies in three decades.
After being put to bat first, Sri Lanka were in trouble, losing Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka within the first 10 overs. Then, Charith Asalanka took charge and bailed his side out from the hot waters. The left-handed batter formed a crucial stand of 101 runs for the fourth wicket with Dhananjaya de Silva (60) before the latter was dismissed by Mitchell Marsh.
Asalanka, however, continued scoring runs from the other end to keep the hosts in the game. He stitched another vital partnership of 57 runs with bowling all-rounder Dunith Wellalage for the sixth wicket. Asalanka reached his maiden ODI century in the 45th over and ended up scoring 110 off 106 deliveries before Pat Cummins removed him in the 48th over. Riding on Asalanka’s inspirational ton, Sri Lanka managed to put a competitive 258.
In response, David Warner kept the Aussies on the track despite wickets falling from the other end. Warner exhibited his fine batting skills in front of Sri Lanka’s bowling, primarily dominated by spin. The left-handed opener was cruising towards what could be a perfect triple-figure score but fell short off just one run after getting stumped in the 37th over.
Australia were in the game till the last over as the contest went down to the wire. The visitors needed 19 off the final over bowled by Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka. The No.10 batter Matthew Kuhnemann gave the home team a scare by showcasing some batting skills, bringing the equation down to five off one ball.
But Shanaka held his nerves and bowled a slower delivery to trap the tailender. The Lankan captain pitched the ball around the back of a length, with Kuhnemann ended up giving a catch to the fielder at cover as the tourists lost the match as well as the series.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) June 21, 2022
Congratulations to the victorious Sri Lankan team for a fantastic series victory against the Aussi’s at home after 30 years ! A true team effort. Well done boys ! Feeling so emotional.
— Sanath Jayasuriya (@Sanath07) June 21, 2022
THE BELIEF IS BACK!
A series win against Aussies after 30 years👏
Surely a confidence booster for this young side✨
Asalanka played a gem of an innings👌DDS produced an all round performance. Overall a great team effort.
Enjoying the every single moment working with this lot❤️
— Lasith Malinga (@malinga_ninety9) June 21, 2022
A massive moment for all of us to be proud of ! weldone @OfficialSLC team! Great stuff #charitasalanka @dds75official @Wanindu49 and all the bowlers were super consistent throughout !enjoy the win boys 🍾🍾
— Angelo Mathews (@Angelo69Mathews) June 21, 2022
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) June 21, 2022
First Pathum Nissanka, now Charith Asalanka. There's a very promising future in this top order. #SLvAUS
— Andrew McGlashan (@andymcg_cricket) June 21, 2022
Thank you Sri Lanka, Thank you my PEOPLE! 🇱🇰♥️ pic.twitter.com/sAODhGHqK3
— Dasun Shanaka (@dasunshanaka1) June 21, 2022
Congratulations @DasunShanaka and to all, as well as the support staff, on your well-deserved victory. Truly amazing right though out the series! Wish you all always the very best in the future!@OfficialSLC
— Chaminda Vaas (@chaminda_vaas) June 22, 2022
Congrats to @DasunShanaka and the @officialSLC team on their historic home series win against @CricketAus after 30 years! Well done for showing what the lions are capable of, when played together as a team and also for bringing joy to the public during these very tough times.
— Roshan Mahanama (@Rosh_Maha) June 21, 2022
— Upul Tharanga (@upultharanga44) June 21, 2022
Sri Lanka today bowled 43 overs of spin in an ODI for the 8th time. There is no other team in history who has bowled that many overs of spin even once. #SLvAus
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) June 21, 2022
Sri Lanka hold their nerves to take an unassailable 3-1 series lead 👏
They beat Australia by 4 runs in the fourth ODI in Colombo!
— ICC (@ICC) June 21, 2022
Sri Lanka win – but only just! Some brilliant late hitting from Matt Kuhnemann but Australia fall just short and SL win the series. What a brilliant game of cricket!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) June 21, 2022