A long wait has come to an end for Sri Lanka who recorded their first ODI series victory against Australia after 30 years beating the visitors by 4 points in Colombo in the fourth ODI. Australia had won the series opener but the hosts won three games in a row to seal the series 3-1 on Tuesday.
Charith Asalanka hit his first century ODI and saved Sri Lanka from a premier slump before Australia got rid of their side for 258.
The hosts slipped to 34-3 after being batted first, with fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh and spinner Matthew Kuhnemann each taking two wickets. But then Asalanka stepped in and saved his team to propel them to a total worthy of a fight.
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During the chase, it was a David Warner spectacle as he scored 99 before suffering a heartbreaking dismissal. Pat Cummins contributed with a solid 35 on 43 balls, but he too was fired in the penultimate of the chase.
Australia needed 19 points for the final, and Matthew Kuhnemann nearly did the impossible by slamming Dasun Shanaka for 14 points in the first five balls, but he was caught on the final delivery which sealed a momentous victory in series for Sri Lanka.
Suffering from their worst economic crisis since independence, the Sri Lankan side have provided their fans with something to cheer about in these trying times and their fans have gone crazy on Twitter.
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Here are some of the best tweets:
Congratulations to the victorious Sri Lanka team on a fantastic series victory against the Australians at home after 30 years! A real team effort. Well done boys! Feeling so emotional. — Sanath Jayasuriya (@Sanath07) June 21, 2022
Sri Lanka is facing an economic crisis where the country is in an unreal state of shock and instability, but in the meantime, the SL cricket team has made sure to bring smiles back to the faces of its people. Such is the impact of sport on all nations. So happy for Sri Lanka! #SLvAUS— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) June 21, 2022
Sri Lanka have never lost an ODI game on June 21.
1998/06/21 v NZ – Won
2016/06/21 vs ENG – Draw
2019/06/21 v ANG – Won
2021/06/21 v AUS – Won
99 David Warner
0 Aaron Finch
First time in ODI history that the opener hit the dreaded numbers 0 and 99 in the same inning. #SLvAus
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) June 21, 2022
The fifth and final ODI in the series will be played on Friday June 24, after which Australia and Sri Lanka will play a two-game Test series from June 29.