Report: Aus vs SL – M16, 2013 ICC Women’s WC
Chasing 132 against Sri Lanka, Australia coasted to a nine-wicket win in the 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup by on Sunday to strengthen their position at the top of the table. After the pacers dealt early blows, off-spinners Lisa Sthalekar and Erin Osborn pitched in with five wickets between them to help restrict the opposition to a meager total at the Brabourne Stadium. Osborne’s performance – 10-6-9-3 – stood out, as the Jodie Fields-led side skittled out Sri Lanka cheaply.
Chasing the paltry target, opener Meg Lanning slammed 37 off 36 balls during a 55-run opening stand with Rachel Haynes, before edging Sripali Weerakkody to slip. The bowler who was hit over the ropes by Lanning before departing was also smashed over long-on by Haynes who had played a supportive till her partner’s dismissal. And with Jess Cameron at the other end, Haynes smashed the Sri Lankan bowlers as the Australians cruised to the target with ease. Finding gaps at will, the opener brought up her half-century (off just 42 balls) with a boundary at backward square-leg, while Cameron dropped anchor and rotated the strike. With a 77-run unbroken partnership, the duo took Australia across the line to post an impressive win.
Earlier, after opting to bowl first, the Australian bowlers ran through the Sri Lankan line-up with clinical precision. Megan Schutt castled Yasoda Mendis for naught to give Australia their first breakthrough in the fifth over. And nine runs later, she took a brilliant catch running backwards to send back Chamari Atapattu. A while later, Sri Lankan skipper Shashikala Siriwardene edged Holly Ferling to the wicketkeeper and Sandamali Dolawatte followed her back after nudging Lisa Sthalekar to Fields behind the stumps to leave Sri Lanka floundering at 41 for four.
However, Deepika Rasangika found an ally in Dilani Manodara. In an attempt to revive the innings, the duo added 49 runs for the fifth wicket, before Schutt struck to send back the former and triggered another collapse. After claiming Rasangika, Schutt took another superb running catch in the following over to dismiss Mandora as the batter took the aerial route against Erin Osborne. In her next, the off-spinner dealt a massive blow to Sri Lanka by removing the dangerous Eshani Kaushalya who had played crucial knocks for her team on previous occasions in the tournament.
Weerakkody and Chamani Seneviratna then managed to take the team past the three-figure mark, before Osborne dismantled the former’s stumps a couple of overs later.
However, Seneviratna continued to stretch the innings with Udeshika Prabodhani at the other end. But after a 22-run stand, she handed a simple catch to Sthalekar at mid-wicket to walk back for 17. Inoka Ranaweera, who replaced her in the middle, edged Sthalekar to Jess Cameron, bringing an end to the Sri Lankan innings.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 131 all out in 45.2 overs (D Rasangika 43, E Osborne 3/9, L Sthalekar 2/26) lost to Australia 132/1 in 22.2 overs (R Haynes 71, M Lanning 37) by 9 wickets