Australia failed at the final ball of the fourth one-day international on Tuesday, with Sri Lanka prevailing by four runs and taking an insurmountable 3-1 lead in the series. The four-run win sealed the series 3-1, and it’s Sri Lanka’s first bilateral series victory at home over this opposition in 30 years.

No. 10 batter Matthew Kuhnemann needed to score five runs for Australia to beat Sri Lanka outright and stay alive in the five-match series but was caught against a delivery from Dasun Shanaka at Colombo’s R. Premadasa Stadium.

Australia finished on 254 all out after 50 overs, with David Warner scoring 99, after Sri Lanka was dismissed for 258 in 49 overs. Charith Asalanka hit a 106-ball 110 for the hosts.

Charith Asalanka hit his maiden one-day century and rescued Sri Lanka from a top-order collapse before Australia bowled out his side for 258 in Tuesday’s fourth ODI match. The hosts slipped to 34-3 after being put in to bat first, with fast bowlers Pat Cummins, Mitchell Marsh and spinner Matthew Kuhnemann each taking two wickets. 

Glenn Maxwell struck first with his off-spin to get wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella stumped for one in the second over of the innings. Cummins soon sent back Kusal Mendis for 14, and previous match hero Pathum Nissanka fell for 13 off Marsh. But a 101-run partnership between the left-handed Asalanka (110) and Dhananjaya de Silva (60) brought their team back to a respectable total with a mix of caution and aggression. 

In the fantastic ton that Asalanka scored, he hit ten boundaries along with one maximum at a strike rate of 103.77. 

After losing batters like Warner, Finch and Maxwell, Australia continued to fight, primarily through Pat Cummins, whose 35 off 41, which mainly comprised singles, as he took the game deep. With 19 needed off 8, Chamika Karunaratne hit him in front of the stumps with a yorker as he attempted to whip the ball to the leg. With Australia’s No. 10 and 11 now together in the middle, that should have been the death of Australia’s chances. Then Kuhnemann made a stand in the final over.

Playing XI of both teams:

Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella(w), Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dunith Wellalage, Jeffrey Vandersay, Maheesh Theekshana

Australia: Aaron Finch(c), David Warner, Mitchell Marsh, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Alex Carey(w), Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Pat Cummins, Matthew Kuhnemann, Josh Hazlewood