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Hazlewood and Carey restore some pride in consolation ODI win

Sri Lanka v Australia, 5th ODI

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Australia triumphed in a low-scoring thriller in the fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka, with the hosts finishing the series as 3-2 winners.

Shaky start for the hosts

After winning the toss, Sri Lanka decided to bat first – a move that didn't work out too well for them. Josh Hazelwood was quick to dismiss both of the Sri Lankan openers, first removing Pathum Nissanka (2) in the third over and then claiming Danushka Gunathilaka’s wicket (8) in his very next.

Dinesh Chandimal soon followed the openers to the pavilion, reducing Sri Lanka to 34/3. 

Australia restrict Sri Lanka to 160

Sri Lankan batters Charith Asalanaka and Kusal Mendis then tried to steady the ship, but a miscommunication between the batters saw Aslanaka (14) run out. One brought two for Australia when Mendis was hit wicket on 26 off the very next ball. 

After sending back half of the side to the pavilion at the score of 56, Australia’s spinners kept the batters in check during the middle overs. Matthew Kunnehman dismissed both skipper Dasun Shanaka and Dunith Wellalage in the same over to pile on the hosts' misery.

However, Chamika Karunaratne fought valiantly with a knock of 75 and stitched together a 58-run ninth-wicket partnership with debutant Pramod Madushan. The lower-order resistance helped Sri Lanka recover and finish their innings at 160.

Spinners make merry 

After economical bowling from the Australian spinners in the first innings, it was time for Sri Lankan bowlers to steal the show in the second innings. Defending the small total, Sri Lankan spinners got the team off to a great start.

Skipper Shanaka deployed his spin trio as early as the second over of the innings and the plan worked, as Maheesh Theekshana dismissed Aaron Finch for a duck. In the following over, young left-arm spinner Wellalage dismissed David Warner on 10, who had started with a couple of boundaries in the first over.

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Theekshana with his tight lines continued to trouble the batters and dismissed Josh Inglish on 5 to reduce Australia to 19/3. 

A fine debut for debutant Madushan continued when he took the wicket of Mitchell Marsh for 24.

And Wellalage, a star of the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup earlier this year, gave Sri Lanka hope of producing a stunning win when he bagged the scalps of both Marnus Labuschagne (31) and Glenn Maxwell (16), the latter with a ripsnorter of a turned that cleaned Maxwell up.

Carey and Green keep calm

Time was not a factor for Australia in their chase and Alex Carey and Cameron Green kept their composure with a 43-run partnership that saw the tourists across the line.

Carey top-scored in the innings with a solid 45*, with Green finishing the job with his side’s first maximum to end on 25*.

The win couldn’t rescue the series for Australia, but regained some pride, with the ODI series ending 3-2 to Sri Lanka.

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