Alex Carey guides Australia to four-wicket win over Sri Lanka
Alex Carey’s 45 not out helped Australia beat Sri Lanka by 4 wickets in the fifth and final ODI in Colombo on Friday. Australia defeated Sri Lanka in the fifth and final ODI on Friday but lost the series 3-2. Josh Hazlewood, Matthew Kuhenman and Pat Cummins took 2 wickets each for Australia. Marnus Labuschagne and Alex Carey were the top scorers for the Australia team.
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Electing to bat after winning the toss, Sri Lanka got off to a bad start. The hosts lost three wickets for just 34 runs in 8.4 overs. Even after this, there was a flurry of wickets and the score reached 7 for 62 and then 8 for 85. Sri Lankan batsmen Charit Aslanaka and Kusal Mendis then tried to stabilize the team, but a miscommunication between the batsmen led to Aslanaka (14) being run out.
After sending half the team back to the pavilion on the score of 56, Australia’s spinners kept the batsmen under control in the middle overs. Matthew Künehmann added to the problems for the hosts by dismissing both skipper Dasun Shanaka and Dunith Velalez in the same over. However, Chamika Karunaratne fought boldly with an innings of 75 runs and shared a 58-run ninth-wicket partnership with debutant Pramod Madushan. Lower-order resistance helped Sri Lanka recover and finish their innings on 160.
Defending the small score, the Sri Lankan spinners got the team off to a great start. Aaron Finch is dismissed for a duck by Mahesh Thekshana. In the next over, young left-arm spinner Veles dismissed David Warner for 10, who hit some boundaries in the first over. Thikshana started again to trouble the batsmen with his stern lines and reduced Australia to 19/3 by removing Josh English for 5.
A fine debut for debutant Madushan continued when he picked up the wicket of Mitchell Marsh for 24. Time was not a factor in their chase for Australia and Alex Carey and Cameron Green kept their cool with a 43-run partnership that saw the visitors cross the line. Carey topped the innings with a solid 45*, with Green finishing his team’s first maximum on 25*. The win did not save the series for Australia, but did bring some glory, with the ODI series against Sri Lanka ending 3–2.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 160 (Chamika Karunaratne 75, Kusal Mendis 26; Josh Hazlewood 2-22) vs Australia 164/6 (Alex Carey 45*, Cameron Green 25*; Dunith Velez 3-42).