It is indeed a something to smile about relieving shot in the arm that Dasun Shanaka’s relatively young new look team will go into the fifth and final ODI against Australia in quite a reversal of the long time whipping boys image that had bugged Sri Lankan cricket in tonight’s day-night at the R. Premadasa International Stadium.
In that perspective, it will be a comfort zone the Lankans bask in for which they have sweated and toiled for. It is a truly adrenaline pumping buoyant element that the imaginative Lankan captain and his team will carry against the Aussies in that final fling for a 4-1 round off. That it is a far fling from the vagaries of having lost out to opposing sides from which the Lankans have journeyed a thorny road of pitfalls to getting to the high road at the expense of a world cricketing might that has dominated ODI cricket is the high point of that remarkable turnaround.
In that orchestration it is as much ironic that Sri Lanka mounted its cricket wringing in a new chapter in reaching the summit of world cup status and now redeeming itself by bringing down arguably the No. 1 team in world cricket. In 1995 it was Mark Taylor’s team that boasted of such superstars like Shane Warne, the Waugh brothers and Glen McGrath among others. This time around its been Aaron Finch at the helm who has been long time delivering for the Aussies. Therein the Lankans will certainly be looking for that ideal finish of handing out yet another defeat to the Australians.
In this series success, there is another noteworthy refreshing aura to the Lankans. Shanaka and the boys have stood up and delivered at a very critical country juncture of lifting the spirits of a battered and bruised people by the grips of a 2-year long Covid 19 pandemic life threatening devastation and a huge economic crisis. (PARA 5) To Finch’s Australians, the final game will be gone asunder as it is nevertheless the redeeming ground to winning ways.