Rachael Haynes and Meghann Lanning, enjoying each other’s company at the crease and building on a rapport established in club cricket for Victoria, set up Australia’s nine-wicket victory with a rapid-fire 55-run first wicket stand.
Sri Lanka, defending 131 in the ICC women’s World Cup Super Six match, was blown away at the Brabourne Stadium here on Sunday. The Lankan total was chased down in a mere 22.2 overs.
This was the second win for the Super Six leader, which confirmed a berth in the final with eight points from four games. Lanka (two points) is fifth, above bottom-placed South Africa.
Teams chasing a low total earlier in the tournament have been more patient, but the Aussies were an exception by averaging 9.5 runs per over, rattling up 17 fours and three sixes by the first three batters.
The damp track favoured bowlers earlier in the morning when Jodie Fields won the toss and used six bowlers, all getting wickets.
The Lankan plans did not take off. The stroke-players were cramped with a heavy dose of spin after the top order fell to some fine swing bowling.
Off-spinner Erin Osborne (10-6-9-3) kept firing away with a nagging line, supported by fellow offie Lisa Sthalekar (8.2-1-26-2). Seamers Megan Schutt (two for 34), Julie Hunt, Holly Ferlin and Sarah Coyte got rid of the top order.
Australia nipped Lankan ambitions with eight catches, to complement an efficient show by the bowlers. Lisa, Megan and Jodie Fields snapped up a couple each. Jessica’s first slip effort at full stretch to dismiss Oshadi Ranasinghe, and Alexandra Blackwell’s dive at mid-wicket to send back Eshani Kaushalya, were spectacular.
Deepika Rasangika and Dilara Manodara, the two in-form Lankan batters, kept chipping away at the Aussies, managing 43 (77b, 7x4) and 21 (46b, 4x4) respectively.
Chamari Seneviratne primed herself for an assault in the last 10 overs, when Lisa pulled off a tumbling catch at mid-wicket, her second of the match.
After a cautious start against the moving ball, Rachael launched into ferocious drives and cuts, mixing them with front foot heaves over long-on. Meghann created space at the crease and lashed the ball through the off-side with ease for her 37 (36b, 6x4, 1x6) before a slash ended in Chamari Aththapathu’s hands at slip.
The Australian openers racked up 50 in 55 balls, while the 100 came off 96, as Jessica Cameron competed with Rachael for big-hits.
Next up, New Zealand faces West Indies on Monday in a Super Six tie here at the Brabourne stadium. It is the fourth game for both teams — the Kiwis in second spot with four points from three matches. West Indies (four points from three matches), England (four from four), Sri Lanka and South Africa follow in that order.
Sri Lanka 131 in 45.2 overs (Deepika Rasangike 43, Erin Osborne three for nine) lost to Australia 132 for one in 22.2 overs (Rachael Haynes 71 n.o., Meghann Lanning 37).
Australia 2 points, Sri Lanka zero.
Keywords: ICC Women’s World Cup