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Warner breathes a sigh of relief after century in Pallekele

David Warner scored a match-winning century for Australia in the final game.
David Warner scored a match-winning century for Australia in the final game.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australian stand-in captain David Warner said that the match-winning century in the fifth and final One-Day International against Sri Lanka in Pallekele has been a sigh of relief for him.

Warner was unable to carry on his good form from earlier this year into the ongoing series where he fell early in the innings in the first four games.

However, in the fifth match, on a slow track while facing spinners, Warner showed excellent application as he toned down from his usual aggressive self to grind towards a match-winning century.

In the 14th over of the game, there was an appeal against Warner for a close-in catch but it was turned down by the umpire Aleem Dar.

With replays suggesting that there was a top edge, Warner also admitted that he nicked that delivery but added that he was fortunate to get some luck going his way.

“It’s great to get a hundred, but for me it was a bit of a sigh of relief,” Warner said.

“I never doubt myself and I haven’t doubted myself.

“I kept backing my plans and executed my plans.

“You do need a bit of a luck in this game and I’m pretty sure I did hit that one to short leg tonight, but that’s part and parcel of this game.

“You get a bit of luck your way and fortunately tonight I got that luck.”

The performance of Australia in the ODI series has been quite different to their dismal display in the Test series where they lost 3-0.

When asked about what was the reason for such a drastic difference in results across formats, Warner said that Australia failed to adapt early in the Test cricket in the sub-continent conditions.

“If I am speaking from my own personal experience, it comes down to runs on the board and a bit of a personal pressure.

“We all talk about taking the game on. You still have to look to score.

“When we’re at home on our home wickets, we always have that intent to score.

“That’s when our boys are playing our best.

“If you face six balls in these conditions, then one is going to have your name in it.

“In these conditions you’re going to have to sweep, you need to use your feet, you’re going to have to watch the ball hard onto the bat where you can’t leave the ball because one is going to skid on.

“They’re the variables in this game and I think that’s where we lacked a little bit.

“We didn’t adapt fast enough.”

In the fifth ODI, Sri Lanka got off to an excellent start with the bat as the openers put on a 73 run stand in 13.5 overs.

Warner accepted that the bowling display in the first 10 overs was quite ordinary but commended his bowlers for bowling Sri Lanka out for 195 runs.

“I felt like we were playing grade cricket to be honest. The bowlers, they didn’t switch on in the first 10, they probably lacked a little energy and intent. They know that.

“But we still restricted them to 195 which is a fantastic effort on these wickets.

“They’ve been very, very good in this series. They’ve got to take credit for that.”

Australia will now play the first Twenty20 International in Pallekele on 6th September before heading to Colombo for the second and final match on the 9th.

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