I do feel sorry for the Sri Lankan ladies…. their entire visit Down Under has been the equivalent of a hypothetical 100m freestyle race between Eric ‘The Eel’ Moussambani and Ian Thorpe.
Or whoever the female Eric The Eel is versus Susie O’Neill.
Women’s One Day Internationals
Women’s One Day cricket is a very simple thing- Both teams bat, both teams bowl, and at the end of the day, the Australians win.
Australia 8/281 (50) defeated Sri Lanka 124 (41.3) by 157 runs @ Captain Grumpy Field
POTM: Meg Lanning (Aus)- 73 off 66
If Australia bats first, wins another ODI and nobody scores a century, did it really happen?
Apparently, such a thing is possible.
The Sri Lankans did achieve the small victory of getting revenge on Alyssa Healy after that record knock in the 2nd T20, when Kulasuriya claimed her caught and bowled for 8, which simply led to Rachael Haynes and skipper Meg Lanning leading the charge and posting half-centuries in a 126 run stand, until Lanning got a massive top edge off a sweep and was dismissed for 73 off 66 by Ranasinghe, and Haynes was dismissed shortly after for 56 when she managed to get a faint edge to Sanjeewani, which left the Aussies in a good spot at 3/146.
Beth Mooney kept the scoring going with 66 off 68, there were a few other minor contributions along the way, and by the standards of this series, the Aussies posted an intimidating 8/281.
It was more than enough, and when Sanjeewani was yorked for a golden duck by Elyse Perry in the first over, the pain was set to continue… and get even worse, as the visitors slumped to be all out for 124 after dragging their innings into the 42nd over, in the sort of performance that highlighted the massive gulf between the two teams.
Ash Gardner was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 2/9 off 9 overs with 4 maidens, in what was a very even contribution all round from the Aussie attack, and Lanning’s 73 earned her Player of the Match honours, but it really was another superb team performance… and all the usual cliches.
That made it 16 consecutive ODI wins for the Aussies, and the last time they lost was to England in Coffs Harbour on October 29, 2017, which means that technically speaking, Australia hasn’t lost a Women’s ODI since same sex marriage was legalised.
And to think the Christian Lobby claim it hasn’t done any good.
Australia 8/282 (50) defeated Sri Lanka 9/172 (50) by 110 runs @ Captain Grumpy Field
POTM: Rachael Haynes (Aus)- 118 off 132
A rare team change for Australia- Megan Schutt had a rest, and in came Perth Scorcher and definitely not the actress Heather Graham for her Australian debut, just 2 days after her birthday.
Apparently it’s mine next week… not that I remember.
After Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy belted out centuries in the T20s, this time it was Rachael Haynes’ turn, finally scoring an international century, after 56 ODIs, and 117 international appearances dating back to 2009.
It was the Australian top order who set up the Sweet 17th win in a row, as Haynes and Healy set up another big score with an attacking start, putting on 116 at just on a run a ball, until Healy holed out on 69, which left Haynes and Lanning to keep up the slaughter, putting on another 103, during which time Haynes finally reached triple figures.
The breakthrough came when Lanning edged one behind to Sanjeewani for 45 with just on 10 overs to go and the score at 2/219, and from there it was a case of hit out and get out, as Haynes was eventually dismissed for 118 off 132, and the likes of Perry, Mooney and Gardner all went cheaply, and the Aussies finished up on a near-identical score to Saturday.
The Sri Lankan chase was immediately in the squatting position when Athapaththu was baited into sweeping a shot straight to Heather Graham on the leg side boundary on 14, which left Sanjeewani and Madavi to try and rescue the chase with a 70 run 2nd wicket partnership that was never really above the required run rate, and once Sanjeewani was bowled by Nicola Carey for 36 off 69, the Australians once again applied the intolerable squeeze on the Sri Lankan batting card, as Jess Jonassen led the bowlers with 4/31 off her 10 overs, highlighted by the key wicket of Athapaththu.
Even in the face of another convincing defeat, the Sri Lankans did record a major victory, in managing to bat out their 50 overs without being bowled out.
I’m sure they completely disregarded the scoreboard, and reminded Lanning and her band of stragglers of their failure.
Two days after the Sweet Sixteen, it was the Sweet Seventeenth- 17 consecutive ODI victories, equalling the record of Belinda Clark’s near invincible Aussies from 1997-99, and unsurprisingly, Haynes was named Player of the Match.
It also means the Aussies have successfully defended the 3-year ICC Women’s Championship… despite there still being half a year to go.
Australia 1/196 (26.5) defeated Sri Lanka 8/195 by 9 wickets (50) @ Captain Grumpy Field
POTM: Alyssa Healy (Aus)- 112* off 76 (15 4s, 2 6s)
With the series already gone, the Sri Lankans chose to bat first for the dead rubber, and as has been the case throughout this tour, Athapaththu was forced to play the role of the iron lung for the Sri Lankan innings, as most of the vital organs in the middle order were removed by the Australian attack very cheaply.
There were some small signs of life early on, when Athapaththu formed a 55 run partnership with Harshitha Madavi, until Madavi was run out for 24 when Athapathu tried taking a risky single to start the 18th over, only for Healy to pick the ball and land a direct hit at the striker’s end from close range.
After that, the Sri Lankans got bogged down, and their fate was pretty much sealed when they lost for 3/2 in the span of 3 overs, to fall to 5/87.
As the wickets kept tumbling, Athapaththu stayed alive long enough thanks to support from Kanchana and Ranasinghe (Who both got cleaned up by Schutt) to bring up her 5th ODI century, meaning that she now has the strange feat of recording the Top 7 Women’s ODI scores in Sri Lankan history.
I’m surprised Chamari doesn’t have some form of a spinal injury carrying Sri Lanka for half a decade.
She was eventually dismissed for 103 off 124, going for one slog too many and picking out Delissa Kimmince, and the Sri Lankans fell just short of reaching 200 for the first time all tour, and once again it was a pretty even spread among the Aussie bowlers, with Georgia Wareham leading the way with 2/18 off 4 overs.
Not wanting to piss around and get the 18th celebrations underway by 6 o’clock, the game was as good as done when Healy tee’d off and reached her half-century in 31 balls, and the Aussies were 0/77 after 10 overs.
Meanwhile, Haynes was disappointingly batting sensibly, as she moved along to 30 off 33.
Summing up the difference between the two teams, in the 15th over, Healy was dropped on 68, as Kanchana managed to do the opposite of most fielders, and ran in too far for a catch at mid-wicket, and was just about Falconed when the ball popped out, and then remarkably, two balls later, Haynes was dropped on 39 when she skied a ball that should’ve been a simple caught and bowled to Kulasuriya, only for her to stop for a chat with Mendis, and down went another catch.
The Sri Lankans were still going to lose even if they had held those catches, but that over was just, as the Japanese would say, committing seppuku.
Haynes would reach her third consecutive half-century off 62 balls, and the opening partnership pushed on past 150 in 21.2 overs, as Healy, on her home deck, looked set to score her second international ton in a week.
The partnership eventually ended on 159, when Haynes was dismissed for 63, after attempting a reverse sweep a full toss from Athapaththu, only to get trapped pretty much plumb LBW.
Lanning came in and whittled the target down to 16 with 18 off 8 deliveries, with Healy stranded up the other end on 98, leaving half a chance of the Australian captain robbing her of a ton, in one of the ultimate alpha moves.
Fortunately, Meg is a benevolent empress, and Healy reached a highly entertaining century, off just 71 deliveries, and fittingly, it would be the Banana Bender who finished proceedings by belting Athapaththu back down the ground for 6, and in the process, the historic 18th consecutive victory.
Funnily enough, Alyssa has now scored as many international centuries as uncle Ian (4)… which shouldn’t be that surprising.
So there we go, as we all expected, an unbeaten start to the Summer for Australia’s women, and it’s on to the revised WBBL, before the T20 World Cup in the New Year.
I hope Chamari Athapaththu has her Sri Lankan teammates as pallbearers at her funeral in 70 years, so that they can let her down one last time.
The Men’s T20 Squad
Pfft, who cares about men’s cricket anymore.
The notable omissions included T20 performers like D’Arcy Short, because the selectors s’till c’an’t t’ake h’is n’ame s’eriously, Marcus Stoinis, who is probably somewhere in Perth smashing out a weights session, and Chris Lynn, who was snubbed on the simple basis of a lack of recent playing time, and because he’s a Queenslander.
Unless he suffers another random shoulder injury, Chris will instead join at least 7 players in the PM’s XI Twenty 20 against Sri Lanka on the 26th, led by Potassium Peter Siddle and Daniel the Christian cricketer.
Next Week: Round 1 of the Sheffield Shield