Meg Lanning stars as all-round Australia ease to 157-run victory


Australia Women 9 for 281 (Lanning 73, Mooney 66, Haynes 56) beat Sri Lanka Women 124 by 157 runs

An all-round team effort from Australia earned them a 157-run victory in the first ODI against Sri Lanka at Allan Border Field. Three of the top five posted half-centuries, with Meg Lanning‘s 73 the top score, before five bowlers shared the wickets.

Given the high standards set by the Australians they will be disappointed no one was able to convert into three figures with Rachael Haynes and Beth Mooney also falling when set to push for a century.

With the ball, Ellyse Perry set the tone with a wicket in the opening over while Tayla Vlaeminck again stood out with her pace while Ash Gardner collected 2 for 9 from nine overs.

Sri Lanka enjoyed a moment of early success when they removed the in-form Alyssa Healy for 8, three days after her world record T20I innings of 148 not out. This time, Healy got a leading edge which was well taken in her follow through by Achini Kulasuriya.

The innings was then set on course by a second-wicket stand of 126 in 21 overs between Haynes and Lanning. After both played themselves in a standout feature was their footwork to the spinners and Lanning, who reached fifty off 47 balls, collected 12 boundaries to have a century for the taking.

Having removed Lanning, Sri Lanka then enjoyed a good period in the match as Anushka Sanjeewani took an excellent catch to remove Haynes when she advanced down the pitch. Perry, who had precious little time in the middle during the T20Is, passed 3000 ODI runs before being run out when her bat bounced in the air before crossing the crease and Gardner was caught at square leg after confirmation from the third umpire that Shahikala Siriwardene had just got fingers under the ball.

Siriwardene, who took over the captaincy from Chamari Atapattu for the ODIs, was the most economical of the bowlers with 1 for 44 from her 10 overs. Australia could not quite produce a power-packed finish to the innings as Sri Lanka kept chipping away with Mooney stumped for 66.

Plenty of Sri Lanka’s top order got themselves starts but none could go beyond Siriwardene’s 30. Harshitha Madavi showed promise with 22 off 25 balls before being caught behind off Vlaeminck whose pace kept the batters on their toes. Atapattu, with so much resting on her shoulders, picked out backward point with a reverse sweep to leave Sri Lanka 3 for 46 in the 12th over.

Australia’s spinners were allowed to bowl with very little pressure on them. Gardner, Jess Jonassen and Georgia Wareham took 5 for 62 from 25 overs. At 5 for 110 in 34th over Sri Lanka would have hoped to bat out the innings, but the last five wickets fell for 14 runs including the bizarre run out of Oshadi Ranasinghe who was left stranded mid-pitch after seemingly not realising the ball remained in play when Megan Schutt misfielded near the boundary.

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