Australia’s fielding excellence sets up series win


Australia Women 1 for 87 beat Sri Lanka Women 8 for 84 by nine wickets

Australia women produced a dominant display in the field as Sri Lanka Women were overwhelmed in the second T20I at North Sydney Oval. The captain, Chamari Atapattu, could not match her heroics of the previous night as Sri Lanka managed just 8 for 85 which Australia knocked off with more than 10 overs to spare.

On a chilly evening under lights, Sri Lanka were never in the contest after electing to bat. Tayla Vlaeminck struck in a wicket-maiden opening over and Australia cut off Atapattu’s favoured scoring areas more effectively than the previous night when she clubbed 113 off 66 balls. Any hope Sri Lanka had of posting a decent total disappeared when Atapattu was run out by a direct hit from Georgia Wareham in the 10th over.

Atapattu managed 12 fours and six sixes herself the day before, but this time the entire Sri Lanka innings featured just nine – with two coming off the final two deliveries – against an Australia outfit that were threatening throughout.

Delissa Kimmince (knee) and Ashleigh Gardner (hamstring) were rested and replaced by Nicola Carey and Erin Burns. Vlaeminck, handed the opening over in a change of tactics, was too quick for Yasoda Mendis, who swung widely and lost her off stump and Anushka Sanjeewani was cleaned up by Megan Schutt. The six-over powerplay brought 22 runs and included just three boundaries.

There was no let-up outside of the fielding restrictions as Australia’s sharpness in the field stood out, typified by the direct hits by Wareham and Burns. Wareham’s first two overs then cost just two runs, and included the wicket of Harshitha Madavi, after she was the seventh bowler used by Meg Lanning before Carey claimed her first T20I wicket by bowling Nilakshi de Silva.

Carey bowled her four overs for just nine runs and contributed one of three maidens in the innings – the most Australia have produced in a T20I. The stranglehold continued almost until the end, but Ama Kanchana managed three boundaries in the last two overs including dispatching the last two balls from Ellyse Perry.

Alyssa Healy, playing her 100th T20I, gave the chase a brisk start before falling to an outstanding catch as de Silva ran back from mid-on and held a steepling chance as she dived full length. Australia’s fielding had been top draw, but that pipped everything.

Burns was given the chance to bat at No. 3, taking the chance with an unbeaten 30 off 18 balls, and Beth Mooney followed her century in the opening match with a neat 28 as victory came at a canter.

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