Sri Lanka and Australia go head-to-head in the final one day international of their bi-lateral series on Sunday morning.
Having wrapped up the ODI segment of the series, Australia will look to put a bit of gloss on their overall performance when they take on Sri Lanka in the fifth and final ODI in Pallekele on Sunday morning.
Can an Angelo Matthews-less Sri Lanka side salvage a bit of pride against a resurgent Australia? Let’s take a look below:
Sri Lanka vs Australia | Sunday 4 September | Pallekele International Cricket Stadium | 11:00
To Win Match
Sri Lanka 29/20 | Tie 35/1 | Australia 57/100
Sri Lanka blew their chances of keeping their five-match series alive against Australia as they went down six-wickets on a muggy evening in Dambulla. Having won the toss and electing to bat, Sri Lanka were quickly put under the cosh as Mitchell Starc, John Hastings and Scott Boland who removed Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal inside of nine overs. At this point the islanders were hobbling along at 31-3 with victory looking increasingly unlikely.
That was until Angelo Matthews came together with Dhananjaya de Silva at the crease. The two were patient in their play and guided the hosts 115 before the Mathews was forced from the field due to a calf injury.
His exit from the muggy Rangiri Dambulla theatre seemed to signal the end of Sri Lanka’s fight, with the crowd growing more and more silent as wickets continued to tumble. Mathews – would limp back out into middle for a final foray, however it’d have little effect on the outcome of the Sri Lankan’s innings as they limped – led by the hobbling Mathews – to a pretty tame 212 all out.
Their defence of that meagre total got off to a less than ideal start as Aaron Finch helped himself to a 19-ball 55 until he was trapped in front by Sachith Pathirana. This would spark a mini collapse which saw Usman Khawaja and David Warner fall in left-arm bowler’s next four balls.
That was where Australia’s rot ended though, with George Bailey and Travis Head negotiating the remainder of the chase with consummate professionalism to take the visitors to an unassailable 3-1 series lead heading into the last game in Pallekele.
I’m not really sure where the Sri Lankans go to from here. Losing Mathews is a massive blow and with the loss of form Mendis is currently enduring, there doesn’t seem to be any fight left in this side and are in danger of being rolled over by the Aussies in the fifth and final ODI.
The Aussies will be relatively happy with their performances during the ODI leg of their tour following three disastrous Tests. George Bailey and James Faulkner once again proved their worth while John Hastings put in a man of the match performance by taking 6-45 in his 10 overs.
In truth, the Australians looked comfortable against the Sri Lankans who struggled without the calming influence of their captain. It was an influence they desperately needed when they did have the Australians reeling 97-3 following the wickets of Finch, Warner and Khawaja.
As it stood though, Bailey and Head consolidated the Australian’s strong position and went on to lead their side victory. By the time that the latter was trapped in front by Dilruwan Perera, the game was already over as a contest before Matthew Wade lofted the ball over long-on to claim the match and the series win.
Having already wrapped the series up, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Australians tinker with their squad a bit. We might see the likes of Nathan Lyon and Moises Henriques brought into the starting line-up in order to give Zampa and Starc a bit of a break before the two T20s get underway next week.
Verdict: Australia 57/100
Australia have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that they are the better one day international side. The fact that you’re still getting nearly 6/10 on the win is massive – back the tourists with a medium to large stake here.
Value Bet: Most match sixes (Australia) at 7/10
Yet another unbelievable price. The fact that you can get an Australian side that boasts the likes of Finch, Warner, Bailey and Faulkner is massive. Add to this the fact that Sri Lanka’s biggest six-hitter – Angelo Mathews – is out of the last ODI makes this bet all the more attractive. Large stake on!