4th ODI – Dambulla
We’ve seen a lot of outrageous matches in international cricket of late, and this one was right up there.
Captain Warner lauded the Aussies for ‘playing the Australian way’, but this was a team with an undeniable Warner flavour.
Duke Hastings took his six wickets across four spells, including a one-over spell where he claimed 1-1. Warner tossed the bowlers around like an experienced circus juggler and never lost control.
Trav Head and Adam Zampa both delivered in the middle overs with wickets (one apiece) and tidy economy rates (2.50 and 3.75, respectively). These two both have 150 ODIs in them, I have no doubt.
212 was never going to be enough, especially with the Finch fireworks exploding. His 55 off 19, while breathtaking, was over in a flash.
With Sri Lanka’s hopes hanging by a thread, Sachith Pathirana entered and removed Finch, Uzzie and Warner and the Aussies were 3-97 in the eighth over. Madness.
Not long after Travis Head was bowled by Dilruwan Perera! Oh, but he’s checking the no-ball and sure enough… a front-foot noey for the first time in Perera’s career. Ouch.
Thankfully Gorgeous George and unflappable Head steadied the ship and guided their country over the line with plenty of time to spare. I feel like I wrote all that in the last match.
5th ODI – Pallekele
9-122. Not a pretty scorecard, but that’s exactly what Sri Lankan batsmen numbers three through 11 dished up after a promising opening stand from the dynamic Dhananjaya de Silva and the sophisticated Danushka Guunathilaka.
With full-time captaincy next to his name, Chandimal’s head was elsewhere. His guided catch to Matty Wade looked almost charitable.
All the bowlers contributed: Faulkner got the initial breakthrough, Zampa and Hastings removed the established batsmen, Starc’s short bursts reaped rewards and Head delivered yet again (new golden-arm alert?).
In reply to Sri Lanka’s rather disappointing 195, David Warner played one of his very best innings. He has beaten regularly by the off-spin of Perera early and even some way into his knock. In very foreign conditions to him, he remained aggressive and latched onto loose balls where he could.
That being said, there were a lot more short and wide balls offered by Lankan bowlers than any previous match this tour.
Bad signs with the Twenty20s coming up.
Bails scored only 44 in their 132 run partnership but it didn’t matter. 27 singles and numerous reverse sweeps kept the bowlers busy and frustrated.
It doesn’t make up for the Test series result, but the 4-1 series win is a pretty comprehensive consolation.
Series Top 5 Aussies:
- George Bailey – 270 runs
- Matthew Wade – 155 runs
- Mitch Starc – 12 wickets
- Adam Zampa – 9 wickets
- James Faulkner – 10 wickets