Familiar Finch feeling returns; rookie shines in near-miracle moment: Aussie player ratings

Sri Lanka v Australia 4th ODI Highlights | 06:47
Zac Rayson and Jacob Polychronis from Fox Sports

Australia has lost a third-straight ODI against Sri Lanka, narrowly going down by four runs in game four in Colombo.

It means that having lost the T20 leg of the tour, Sri Lanka has clinched the ODI series with a game to spare.

Here’s how every Australian fared in the fourth ODI.

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Aaron Finch — 2

0 off 4

It’s been a strong, sorely needed tour for Aaron Finch in Sri Lanka, but it could all end with a sour taste in his mouth. Australia has lost the ODI series with a game to play and a familiar feeling returned for Finch who was out for a four-ball duck. The mode of dismissal was familiar, too, with Finch playing all around a Chamika Karunaratne delivery that angled back in. It started the Australian chase off in the worst way possible — the tourists were still 1-3 after three overs.

Earlier, Finch won a sixth toss out of seven games across the T20I and ODI series. Captained brilliantly in the field early on – three of his bowlers took wickets in their first over, and he rotated them in efficient short stints. Maxwell, for example, took a wicket with his second ball, before his next over went for 9 runs. Finch hooked him straight away, and his replacement Cummins immediately nabbed a wicket. Finch was aggressive in the way he deployed his top pace bowlers as well as his fields – especially at the death - but was hampered by an inability to use Kuhnemann in the middle overs. Individually, he made a direct hit for a run out attempt, but Chamika’s desperate dive saved him, and he had a successful DRS review.

Warner falls agonisingly short of ton | 00:42

David Warner — 9

99 off 112

Australia’s star with the bat on the night who played a lone hand as the rest of his teammates struggled to get past 30. Warner batted with seven different batting partners of the night in a strong, anchor performance that pulled him to within one run of a century. How Australia needed him to last just a bit longer as he became the third wicket in as many overs at a crucial point of the innings. It was a great piece of bowling from Dhananjaya de Silva who created just enough uncertainty to pull Warner out of his crease as he overbalanced while searching for contact. Nonetheless, his 99 was made to look herculean considering no Australian batter in the top eight past 30.

Australia’s star with the bat on the night.Source: AFP

Mitch Marsh 8

26 off 27

2-29, economy 4.14

Played an important role after the early loss of Finch to give the Australians a more solid footing in the chase. He came to the crease with Australia at 1-3 after three overs and had his side at 1-66 after 11.3. Few found the tempo to go at a run-a-ball on the night and things likely would have been much different had Marsh survived a while longer. He departed for 26 after Dunith Wellalage got one to grip and turn to take Marsh’s outside edge.

With the ball, he bagged an early wicket, then a wicket maiden when he was brought back into the attack to break up a big partnership. Marsh bowled with as much intelligence as aggression, hitting the wicket hard. He needed a response after last game’s poor return, and he delivered with his 2-29 off seven overs. And he didn’t hold back in his celebrations! He added a run-out for good measure.

Marnus Labuschagne — 3.5

14 off 21

0-13, economy 6.50

You’d imagine Labuschagne would like his time again here. Poor shot selection as he tried to hit across the line and against the spin of Jeffrey Vandersay who had him trapped on the crease. Didn’t stay particularly low either with ball-tracking showing it was only just hitting the top of the stumps. Australia needed more from Labuschagne here as regular wickets continued to fall.

As is often the case, he chipped in with the ball but never really looked a threat as he failed to hit the right areas often.

Sri Lanka hold their nerve at the death | 02:17

Alex Carey — 4.5

19 off 20

It was a familiar story for Australia by this point. Carey was the third batter in a row to come to the crease, work his way into the innings, then see it all go up in smoke before making any real impact. Looked to go hard at Wanindu Hasaranga — and his night might have been a little different had he found just an extra couple metres to clear the boundary rope. He played a high risk, high reward game and ultimately paid the price.

Earlier, the gloveman nearly made an absolute hash of the first-wicket stumping but got the job done, and he made no mistake with an equally simple run-out later on. Stuck to his guns to convince Finch to review an LBW successfully.

Aussie can deal with pressure in SL | 01:00

Travis Head — 5

27 off 33

Head grinded his way to 27 off 33 balls but, ultimately, also failed his trial by spin. There was far too big a gap between his bat and pad that saw a straight one from Dhananjaya go straight through him. Australia was on-track to win at the time but Head’s dismissal triggered a collapse that swung the game in Sri Lanka’s favour.

Glenn Maxwell — 3.5

1 off 3

1-49, economy 6.12

It was a disaster with the bat for Maxwell who lasted just three uncomfortable deliveries and played all around a Maheesh Theekshana ball. Given the damage Maxwell can produce, it was a massive moment in the game that only added pressure on Warner, who was on the verge of a century at the time.

Australia’s choice to keep Mitch Swepson on the sidelines meant a part-timer had to stand up. Having been whacked around in recent games, Maxwell got off the mark with a brilliant piece of bowling on just his second ball. Maxwell saw Dickwella preparing to charge down the wicket and reacted well to deliver a neat yorker. He couldn’t keep things tight in the middle overs, and finished with 1-49 off eight overs. Stood up at a critical moment in the first innings with an exceptional grab to dismiss Dhananjaya.

Cameron Green — 4

13 off 25

0-27, economy 4.50

Stemmed the flow in terms of the wickets at least after the quickfire dismissals of Head, Maxwell and Warner. But that came at a cost with Green striking at just 52.00 in his 25-ball stay that ate up overs and added pressure towards the back-end. It was a pretty ordinary dismissal in the 46th over, too, as Green was caught on the back foot and beaten by a skidding delivery.

With the ball, he didn’t hit the pitch hard enough at times. Was caught bowling too wide and full too regularly as well. But he grew into the innings well and finished with a reasonable 0-27 off five overs – the fact he could be relied upon to keep things tight enough for five overs was crucial.

Pat Cummins — 8.5

2-37, economy 4.11

Returning to the team after being rested last time out, it didn’t take Pat Cummins long to fire – claiming a wicket in his first over. He also could have had Asalanka early on when he clipped the leg stump only for the bail to remain steadfast. It proved a costly moment for Australia.

Cummins bowled very well, despite some unusual mistakes at the death – including rare consecutive wides (both of which were VERY wide) in the 46th over. Picked up the centurion Asalanka for 110 off a neat slower ball, in an over (the 48th) where he conceded just one run. Added a run out the following over. 2-37 off nine overs at an economy of 4.11 is a fine day’s work.

He also wins marks for his 35 off 43 balls late in the innings when the rest of the Australians, aside fro Matt Kuhnemann, floundered.

Pat Cummins starred with the ball.Source: Getty Images

Matthew Kuhnemann — 6.5

2-56, economy 7.00

The 25-year-old spinner hadn’t stood up so far this series. But as former Australia international Brad Haddin said in commentary, Kuhnemann was “learning on the job.” That’s not just the case between games, but was also on display during this game. He couldn’t settle early on, with Sri Lanka putting him under pressure and comfortably nudging the ball into space. And he was a little sloppy in the field in the first half of the innings, too, missing a very good run out opportunity by half a metre when he failed to get his feet set and rushed the throw.

But he turned things around well – and it could be a turning point in his fledgling career. He bowled a better line as the innings progressed, and was rewarded with the wicket of Wellalage when the 19-year-old got too aggressive and misread a ball that turned out of the rough. He made it two by picking up Karunaratne LBW upon review, and almost made it three when Maxwell just missed a tough diving catch in the deep. He finished with a relatively expensive 2-56 off eight overs, but it was still a decent performance. Haddin said he: “attacked the stumps more today. He was a bit wide in the second game which you can understand.”

His fielding improved, delivering a couple of impressive moments, and he turned down the opportunity to dismiss a batter via the ever-controversial Mankad.

Nearly pulled off a miracle when chasing 19 in the final over. He pulled Australia to within just four runs of tying the game after hitting three boundaries.

Josh Hazlewood — 7

0-45, economy 4.50

The figures don’t sound great, but Hazlewood bowled better than they suggest. For instance, all three run outs came off his bowling. He was very threatening early on, bowling a good line and length and getting hints of movement to go with the variable pace and bounce of the pitch. He failed to pick up wickets – something that has been a theme this series – but kept the pressure on and was rewarded by his teammates striking at the other end. He bowled very well at the death and was a little unlucky that the final two wickets came via run outs which don’t go down on his stats sheet.