Sri Lanka secured a historic series win against Australia in their home by a 3-2 margin.
Against the backdrop of a failing economy and a tumultuous national scene, the Lankans finally triumphed over a full-strength Aussie side. Moreover, it might be an indication of the Lankan resurrection in the cricketing arena after a decade.
Last decade, we saw the gradual demise of Lankan cricket after the retirement of their legendary cricketers. Their ordinary performance created a reluctance among the big three to invite them or to send their full-strength squads to the Lankan soil.
As a result, Sri Lanka started playing against lower-ranked teams like West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland, and Scotland.
They won their last ODI series against a SENA country in 2014, against England on their soil. The last time they won an away series against Australia was in 2010. Except for those, they struggled to make a worthy performance against any opponent which put them in the position of an underdog side.
This triumph was not the result of a few men's efforts. Rather they stood as a unit.
Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, and Dhananya de Silva - all of them were incredible with the bat. The top scorer in the series, Kusal Mendis scored 249 runs, displaying sensibility and superlative techniques, and achieved the man of the series award. Nissanka and Asalanka got their maiden hundreds as well.
Nissanka's century in the 3rd ODI helped the side to make a record-breaking chase. When the top order collapsed in the 4th ODI, the 110-run partnership of Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva rescued the side and allowed them to set a fighting total.
Special credit goes to the bowling line up which generated discomfort for the Aussie batters.19-year-old youngster Dunith Wellalage took 9 wickets with his magical slow left-arm deliveries.
Dhananjaya de Silva also made a significant contribution with 5 scalps. The Bowling unit proved their efficiency in the 2nd and 4th Odi by dragging the Aussie side down from the driver's seat.
Dasun Shanaka, the newly appointed captain has been quite successful while leading the side. However, he was in a bad shape with the bat and bowled only a few overs throughout the series.
The young roaring Lankan lions might create a surprise in the upcoming T20 World Cup this year and ICC World Cup in 2023 as well when they’ll be more mature.