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Lessons learnt in ODI series win

AAP logoAAP 31/08/2016 By Scott Bailey and Pete Smith

It's taken more than a month, but Australia finally appear to have cracked the code to success in Sri Lanka to take an unassailable 3-1 lead in the one-day series on Wednesday.

And it seems the key all along was just to play cricket the attacking Australian way.

The Aussies chased down Sri Lanka's total of 212 with six wickets in hand and within just 31 overs after paceman John Hastings earlier claimed six wickets with the ball.

Opener Aaron Finch set the tone with a stunning innings of 55 off 19 balls, including three sixes.

He hit 16 from the first four balls he faced and eventually passed 50 off just 18 balls, equalling the Australian record mark for the fastest half century held by Simon O'Donnell and Glenn Maxwell.

"Look at the way that Finchy started today," Warner said.

"For us it's about getting a good start in these conditions.

"Make use of that new ball when we're batting, because we've seen what happens when the ball gets old, it starts turning square."

And when Finch departed in the fifth over, George Bailey picked up where he left off last match, sweeping and improvising his way to an unbeaten 90 off 85 balls to seal the victory.

Bailey's knock follows his match-winning 70 in the third one-dayer, and takes his series average to 75.33.

"Look at the way George came in and reversed and swept and backed his game plan," Warner said.

"The way he has played in the sub-continent over the past couple of years, his form has been outstanding."

Warner didn't enjoy the same success though, bowled for 19 by spinner Sachith Pathirana (3-37) while Usman Khawaja was LBW for a second-ball duck to leave Australia in the bizarre position of 3-97 after 7.1 overs.

However Travis Head (40) and Matt Wade (8 not out) helped Bailey guide Australia to victory.

Warner and selectors also appeared to learn a vital lesson before the match, picking only one specialist spinner on the dry wicket.

And the move paid off, with the recalled Hastings claiming career-best figures of 6-45, while Mitch Starc and Scott Boland took one each.

Conversely, in Australia's only loss in the one-day series, Starc was the only specialist quick selected, with all-rounder James Faulkner adding back-up.

"Maybe they put a bunsen burner there for us to pick a spinner maybe," Warner said.

"You guys probably like playing against the spinners and not the quicks.

"We have to select what we think is going to be the best attack against Sri Lanka."

Opener Dhananjaya de Silva struck a controlled 76 for the home side, while captain Angelo Matthews hit 40 in an innings punctuated by a calf strain.

The final match of the series will be played in Pallekele on Sunday.

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