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Australia set 161 to win against Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan cricket fans displayed their gratitude for Australia touring their country, but their batters were way too generous to the visitors in the fifth and final ODI in Colombo.

Holding an unassailable 3-1 lead, Sri Lanka produced their worst batting effort of the series, dismissed for 160 off 43.1 overs after winning the toss.

They had lost eight wickets by the halfway stage and Australia’s dominance was underlined by the rare sight in an ODI of three close fielders surrounding the bat.

The hosts slumped to 7-62, but eighth and ninth wicket partnerships of 23 and 58 respectively ensured they avoided the ignominy of not reaching three figures.

Chamika Karunaratne, who had a previous best ODI score of 44, displayed admirable resistance, scoring 75 off as many balls.

Coming in at No.8, he struck two sixes off Marnus Labuschagne and added eight fours before he was dismissed to end the innings.

Sri Lanka supporters showed their appreciation of Australia with many of those attending wearing a yellow shirt and others bringing banners thanking the visitors for touring their country.

With Travis Head injured, Josh Inglis was given his ODI debut and was awarded his cap by his West Australian teammate Mitchell Marsh.

Frontline pacemen Josh Hazlewood (2-22 off 7 overs), Pat Cummins (2-22 off 6.1) and spinner Matthew Kuhnemann (2-26 off 10) bowled well and were assisted by some smart fielding and rash shots.

Hazlewood whipped out both openers inside the first five overs, but it was a middle order collapse of 4-6 in the space of eight balls that unhinged the home team’s innings.

Hazlewood had Pathum Nissanka feathering a delivery through to wicketkeeper Alex Carey and the recalled Danushka Gunathilaka smashing a ball straight to mid-off.

Cummins struck in his first over, with Dinesh Chandimal, playing his first match of the series, caught at mid-on.

Sri Lanka were 3-56 before they went into full collapse mode, gifting Australia wickets off the last two balls of the 15th over bowled by Glenn Maxwell (1-38 off 10)

Charith Asalanka was run out after a mix-up with Kusal Mendis (26 off 40), who fell to a rare hit wicket dismissal the following ball.

Mendis, Sri Lanka’s leading runscorer in the series with 249, went deep in his crease to play a sweep and dislodged a bail as his back foot clipped the stumps.

The collapse continued in the next over bowled by left arm spinner Kuhnemann.

Danish Wellalage stroked a fine cover driven boundary but was caught at mid-on off the next ball and two deliveries later captain Dasun Shanaka was bowled.

Karunaratne and Jeffrey Vandersay showed some resistance before the latter was run out by a direct hit from Labuschagne at point.

Debutant Pramod Madushan (15 off 52) supported Karunaratne before falling to a Cameron Green return catch.

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