Defending champions Australia continued their dominant start to the 2023 T20 World Cup as they thrashed the Chamari Athapaththu-led Sri Lankan side, who themselves entered the contest unbeaten, by 10 wickets to make it three in three. With the victory, Australia have all but qualified for the semi-finals; thanks to their NRR of +2.413, Meg Lanning’s side are now certain to make it out of the group as toppers.
The toss went the way of Australia, who opted to bowl, and while Sri Lanka made a brisk start, racing to 29/0 after 4 overs, their innings hit a roadblock post Athapaththu’s dismissal, after which they struggled to get out of second gear.
Harshitha Samarawickrama (34) and Vishmi Gunaratne (24) shared a 39-run stand, but the pair adding those runs in 51 balls meant that at no point were Australia under any pressure. At one stage Sri Lanka found themselves at 86/3, but by then 98 balls had already been bowled; only 18% of the innings remained.
Even then, a strong finish would have helped them put a competitive total on the board but hideous late collapse — 26/5 off the last 21 balls — meant that 112/8 was all they could post.
Three of those five wickets fell in the final over of the innings bowled by Megan Schutt, who finished with 4/24 off her quota of overs.
The Lankans were also choked by the leg-spin of Georgia Wareham (1/20) and the part-time pace of Grace Harris, who finished with 2/7 off 3 overs.
112 was never going to be enough against this Australian batting line-up but unlike Bangladesh, Sri Lanka weren’t even able to stretch the chase. Fifties from both Alyssa Healy (54*) and Beth Mooney (56*) sealed a ten-wicket win for the Aussies, who won the contest with 25 balls to spare.
Australia and Healy started the chase off with a boundary, and never looked back.10/0 in 1 became 54/0 in 8 and in the blink of an eye, the defending champions ran away with the chase as Healy and Mooney, between them, hit 13 fours and a six.
With two more points in the bag, Australia have six in six and have all but qualified for the semi-finals. Lanning’s side will play their last group game against South Africa at St George's Park, Gqeberha, on Saturday (February 18).