Meg Lanning leads Australia to dominant victory over Sri Lanka
Australia Women continued their domination over Sri Lanka Women in the home series as another clinical display with both bat and ball saw them take a 1-0 lead in the ODI series. Having already crushed Sri Lanka in the T20I series 3-0, the hosts carried forward the momentum into the 50-over format as well, winning the opening contest by 157 runs in Brisbane.
Meg Lanning’s decision to bat first after winning the toss was vindicated by a century stand involving herself and Rachael Haynes for the second wicket following Alyssa Healy’s early departure. Healy, who made a record 148* in the final T20I just three days ago, was caught and bowled by Achini Kulasuriya for just 8 this time around. However, Lanning and Haynes quickly helped Australia recover with a 126-run stand. While Haynes was slightly subdued, Lanning took on the attack striking at more than 100.
Both batters registered half-centuries but fell in successive overs to provide Sri Lanka hope. The visitors continued to pick up regular wickets in the second half of the innings but Beth Mooney at the other end continued to keep the scorecard ticking. Mooney became the third player to go past fifty in the innings and her composed 66 helped Australia post a massive 281 on the board.
A target of 282 was always going to be tough for the visitors and the task became even tougher with their most accomplished batter Chamari Athapaththu struggling to get going. The opener made a painstaking 32-ball 13 and was the third wicket to fall in the chase. From there on, it was just one-way traffic as wickets kept tumbling. Tayla Vlaeminck, Jess Jonassen and Ashleigh Gardner picked up two wickets each with the Sri Lankan innings finally coming to an end in the 42nd over.