In the ongoing T20 World Cup 2023, Australia defeated Sri Lanka by 10 wickets on Thursday in Gqeberha thanks to Grace Harris’ game-changing 2-7, Megan Schutt’s four-fer, and an unbroken century opening stand (February 16).
Although Sri Lanka’s openers got off to a promising start, Harris’s double strikes in the 14th over, which caused a late collapse, restricted Sri Lanka to a meagre 112/8. In response, the Australian openers got off to a cautious start before picking up the pace when it was necessary to set up the team’s record-breaking 14th consecutive T20I victory while chasing and surpassed the goal in under 16 overs.
Sri Lanka’s fiery captain, who was passed over at the WPL auctions, got off to a strong start by hitting Darcie Brown’s overpitched deliveries to the fence a few times in the second over and putting Ash Gardner over midwicket in her 16-run cameo. Harshitha Madavi, another starter, too got off to a cautious start, giving Sri Lanka a solid start of 38/1 in the powerplay given the circumstances. In the seventh, Perry was sent to the fence by Madavi and Vishmi Gunaratne once each, quickly increasing the team’s total to fifty.
Australia sped up as expected. Sri Lanka had trouble restarting the run flow in the following 10 spin-only overs. Prior to eventually forcing the breakthrough in her third over to break the 39-run second-wicket partnership, Harris, who had plenty of turn, bowled two consecutive overs for only six runs. After Madavi was out for 34 off 40 balls and was stumped, Oshadi Ranasinghe, the batsman who had taken her place in the middle, shortly followed without bothering the scorer. Despite scoring 19 runs combined in the 16th and 17th innings, Sri Lanka had just about reached the 90-run threshold.
In order to make up for the runs Alana King let slip during her death-overs stint, Schutt scooped up all four of her four in the final two overs. Nilakshi de Silva’s cameo of 15 off just 7 balls was what brought Sri Lanka’s final score up to triple digits.
Australia’s batting prowess was never going to be tested by a target of 113, and Healy helped the pursuit get underway with a freebie by flicking to midwicket, while Mooney took one on pads and swept Sugandhika Kumari to the square leg barrier. The opener, though, appeared unhurried and showed good regard for the circumstances. Mooney got them back on track with a hat-trick of fours off Ranasinghe to get Australia to 37 without loss from their powerplay after Healy survived a stumping opportunity as early as the second over and even took a maiden from Kumari.
In the ninth over, Healy helped Australia reach fifty runs when he reverse swept Inoka Ranaweera to backward point, danced to Achini Kulasuriya, and then smacked a straight shot into the sightscreen to get Australia moving once more. In 39 deliveries, Healy scored 50 for Australia, her 14th fifty in T20Is, and Mooney got her 16th run-a-ball run.
The lopsided loss caused Sri Lanka’s NRR to suffer significantly, while Australia now leads the standings with 6 points.
Short scores: Australia Women 113/0 in 15.5 overs (Beth Mooney 56*, Alyssa Healy 54*) defeated Sri Lanka Women 112/8 in 20 overs (Harshitha Madavi 34; Megan Schutt 4-24, Grace Harris 2-7) by 10 wickets.
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