Australia has already won the One Day International cricket series over Sri Lanka, but the series is becoming a war of attrition as the Fifth ODI which will stream live on Sunday has been struck with even more key absences, after Australia Captain Steve Smith returned to Australia for a rest period prior to the Third ODI.
While Sri Lanka hope to end the ODI series on a high note with a second win over the Cricket World Cup champions, they will need to do it not only without retired legend Tillakaratne Dilshan, who hung up the willow following the Third ODI, but also without their own captain, world elite batsman Angelo Mathews.
Mathews suffered a calf injury in the Fourth ODI on Wednesday. He tweeted a photo of himself in a wheelchair the following day, indicating that he could be absent from the Sri Lanka side for a long period of time — and definitely for the Fifth ODI and subsequent pair of T20 International matches that will wrap up the Australia tour of the Emerald Isle.
Quik thumbs up to all who wanted to know my status.will be bak on the field soon.will keep u posted#StayBlessed pic.twitter.com/moFQk7TbVSIn the absence of Mathews, 26-year-old wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal takes over the skipper's helm for only the third match of his career. But Chandimal won both of his previous outings as captain, a pair of ODI matches in South Africa in 2013.
— Angelo Mathews (@Angelo69Mathews) September 1, 2016
For Australia, already missing Smith and pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, a second component of their fast bowling attack, Josh Hazelwood, will sit out the match and the two T20 Internationals series as well.
Both Hazelwood and Mitchell Starc will rest for the upcoming Australia tour of South Africa, but while Starc will see out the Sri Lanka tour, Hazelwood returned to Australia on Friday.
Australia have rested their pacers after the hectic schedule in Sri Lanka—https://t.co/gRMsDpYJJtTo find out how to watch a live stream of the Fifth and final Sri Lanka vs. Australia ODI cricket match, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. First ball is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. India Standard Time at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka, on Sunday, September 4.
— CricketCountry (@cricket_country) September 2, 2016
For fans in the United States, that start time will be 5 a.m. Eastern Time, 2 a.m. Pacific. In Australia, cricket fans can log in to the live stream at 7 p.m. Australian Eastern Standard Time, 5 p.m. Western Time.
Watch highlights of the series-clinching Fourth Sri Lanka vs. Australia ODI in the video below.Sri Lanka hope that Mathews will be fit to return for the national cricket team's next competition, when Sri Lanka tours South Africa starting on December 26 for three tests, three T20 Internationals and five ODI matches. The Sri Lanka cricket team then travels directly to Australia for a brief tour there consisting of three T20 matches on February 17, 19, and 22 of 2017 — the last action for Sri Lanka ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy commencing in England on June 3 of next year.
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Can Sri Lanka rally in the absence of their ailing captain Angelo Mathews to defeat Australia and grab one more win from the five-match ODI series, in which they already trail by an insurmountable 3-1? Or will Australia — the World Cup champions and still the top-ranked team in the 50-overs format — manage to record a dominant victory series win even with a squad depleted by injures and now the absence of one of their top bowlers? The best way to find out is to watch the Sri Lanka vs. Australia Fifth ODI cricket match from Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy, Sri Lanka, live online in the United States via Willow TV Xtra, available via this YouTube link with a monthly subscription fee, as well as on Willow TV's own site, accessible by clicking here.
There are also legal ways to watch Willow TV and Willow TV Xtra for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including the fifth and final ODI match of the Sri Lanka vs. Australia five-ODI cricket series, for a limited period of time, such as the offer at this link — or try the one-month free trial of Sling TV's International Sports Package, which includes Willow TV and Willow TV Xtra, as well as the Sri Lanka vs. Australia Fifth ODI cricket match. Information on that deal can be found at this link. Another live stream link can be accessed by clicking here, and live text commentary on the Fifth ODI match is available from Star Sports at this link.
Cricket fans in Australia can catch the live stream of their World Champion national cricket team's final ODI against Sri Lanka for 2016 via the FoxTel Play service available at this link. The service, which normally costs a subscription fee of $50 (Australian) per month, now offers a two-week free trial, allowing fans to watch the last match in the Sri Lanka vs. Australia ODI series at no charge.
[Photo By Eranga Jayawardena/Associated Press]