Steely Warner guides Australia to 4-1 victory
Australia 199-5 (Warner 106) beat
Sri Lanka 195 (Gunathilaka 39) by five wickets
Fifth One-Day International, Pallekele
A responsible century from David Warner ensured that Australia chased a target of 196 runs in 43 overs to secure a five wicket win against Sri Lanka in the fifth and final One-Day International in Pallekele which sealed their 4-1 series win.
Earlier in the day, an all-round bowling display from Australia bowled Sri Lanka out for 195 runs in 40.2 overs, despite an opening stand of 73 runs.
Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bat first. Dhananjaya de Silva (34) and Danushka Gunathilaka (39) began the innings strongly and took the team to 58 for naught in 10 overs by playing positive cricket.
Just when it looked like the pair settle down into their innings, they were dismissed in successive overs. De Silva was caught at mid-on off James Faulkner (1-30), while Gunathilaka was castled by Adam Zampa (2-43).
Sri Lanka were rattled even further when Dinesh Chandimal (1) fell only two balls later, caught behind off Mitchell Starc (3-40).
Kusal Mendis (33) and Upul Tharanga (15) took Sri Lanka past the 100-run mark but the former fell in the 24th over. At the half-way mark, Sri Lanka were 124 for four.
Travis Head (2-22) struck twice in quick succession to remove Tharanga and Kusal Perera (14), leaving Sri Lanka six down after 31 overs with the score at 145.
Despite Sachith Pathirana’s (32) best efforts, Sri Lanka lost their last four wickets in the space of seven overs and were bowled out for 195 runs in 40.2 overs.
Early in the innings, Sri Lanka successfully used a review to dismiss Matthew Wade (3), who was caught behind off Dilruwan Perera (3-51). Usman Khawaja (6) also failed once again, leaving Australia at 31 for two after 10 overs.
With the spinners keeping a tight check on the scoring rate, Warner (106) and George Bailey (44) dropped anchor to ensure that Australia did not suffer a collapse. The pair batted patiently knowing that the target was well within reach.
Warner completed his fifty as he took Australia to 113 for two at the half-way mark. Warner and Bailey added 132 runs for the third wicket before the latter was trapped LBW in the 33rd over.
An over later, Warner completed his seventh ODI century and also became the first Australian to score a ton in Sri Lanka in the format.
Though Sri Lanka managed to dismiss Head (13) and Warner, Australia chased down the total in 43 overs and secured a five-wicket win and a 4-1 series victory.
Warner was the man of the match while Bailey claimed the man of the series.
© Cricket World 2016