Hastings rattles Lankan batsmen

Bowler claims 6-for as Aus clinch series in style

Hastings rattles Lankan batsmen

John Hastings claimed six wickets before Aaron Finch and George Bailey's attacking half-centuries powered Australia to a series clinching six-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the fourth one-day international in Dambulla on Wednesday.

Australia rode on Finch's 19-ball 55 and an unbeaten 90 from Bailey to chase down 213 in 31 overs and take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series. Medium-pacer Hastings took six wickets to help bowl out Sri Lanka for 212 despite a half-century from Dhananjaya de Silva.

Sri Lanka suffered from a lack of partnerships as their innings ran out of steam. They folded on the last ball of the 50th over after electing to bat first. Australia’s pace spearhead Mitchell Starc struck in the very first over to have debutant batsman Avishka Fernando trapped lbw for nought.

Hastings, who recorded career-best figures of 6-45, soon got Kusal Mendis caught behind for one. The on-field umpire gave the batsman not out before Australia successfully reviewed the decision.

Scott Boland, who replaced Josh Hazlewood in the Australian starting XI, joined the pace charge to dismiss previous match centurion Dinesh Chandimal — caught behind to leave Sri Lanka reeling on 31 for three.

De Silva, who scored 76, and Mathews then started a rebuilding act, mixing caution and aggression against a persistent attack.

Mathews, who was badly shaken after being hit on the back of his helmet off a Boland bouncer, made a gritty 28 before retiring hurt with a calf injury that hampered his footwork and running between the wickets.

De Silva, whose maiden ODI half-century included nine boundaries, looked a little edgy after Mathews’ departure and soon departed after spooning a catch to mid-wicket off Hastings. Australia’s spinners then got in on the act as Adam Zampa and Travis Head took two more wickets to land Sri Lanka in deeper trouble.

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