David Warner (106) returned to form with a terrific match-winning ton in the fifth One-Day International against Sri Lanka at Pallekele. Warner steered Australia's chase of 196, even as the Sri Lankans were once again culpable of not scoring enough runs on a good batting wicket, handing the game to the Australians by five wickets. Australia thereby won the ODI series 4-1, avenging their 0-3 loss in the Tests.

The pattern of the game bore a stark similarity in the way things progressed in the fourth ODI. Yet again, the "Australian way" of cricket, as Warner had pointed out earlier in the week, reaped rich dividends. The Australians were constantly on Sri Lanka's throats and the hosts were undone by carelessly throwing away wickets in the middle overs.

For the first time in this series, the Lankans got off to a good start. Dhananjaya de Silva and Danushka Gunathilaka were playing the Australian pacers confidently. Even the menacing Mitchell Starc was leaking boundaries. As soon as the opening partnership, which accounted for 73 runs fell, the Sri Lankans lost their way.

In the space of nine deliveries, De Silva, Gunathilaka and skipper Dinesh Chandimal departed. There were little demons on the pitch. The Australian bowlers were disciplined and the breakthroughs came in thick and fast.

Barring Sachith Pathirana's 38-ball 32, there was little fight from the lower-order batsmen as Starc cleaned them up during his second spell.

Australia looked to be in all sorts of trouble when the canny Dilruwan Perera once again got early wickets. Matthew Wade, sent to open at the expense of Aaron Finch was stumped while Usman Khawaja's misery on the tour continued.

In the reliable Bailey, Australia found the right man to bail them out of trouble. Unlike the last two games, the former Australian skipper grafted his way around, merrily passing the baton to Warner, who was bludgeoning the bowling attack to all parts.

With the Lankans attacking with close-in fielders, there were plenty of gaps outside the 30-yard circle. Apart from finding the odd boundary, Warner knocked the ball around and ran plenty of twos as he became the first Australian batsman to score an ODI hundred on Sri Lankan soil.

Bailey became Dilruwan Perera's third scalp and Travis Head holed out in the deep but the breakthrough came when the target was within touching distance. Warner was distraught as he was dismissed with six needed for a win. There were no further hiccups for the wounded world champions.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka 195 in 40.2 overs (Danushka Gunathilaka 39, Kusal Mendis 33; Mitchell Starc 3/40, Travis Head 2/22) lost to Australia 199/5 in 43 overs (David Warner 106, George Bailey 44; Dilruwan Perera 3/51, Dhananjaya de Silva 2/35) by five wickets.