Meg Lanning celebrating a milestone. ©Getty Images

Australia put on a dominant display with both bat and ball as they went past Sri Lanka by 157 runs at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane on Saturday (October 5). The hosts put on a challenging score on board on the back of half-centuries from Meg Lanning, Racheal Haynes and Beth Mooney. The trio’s half-centuries enabled Australia to post 281.  With the ball, Jess Jonassen, Tayla Vlaeminck and Ashleigh Gardner picked up two wickets apiece to help the hosts extend their run of successive victories in ODIs to 16.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat first on a good batting deck. The start wasn’t great as Alyssa Healy fell early to Achini Kulasuriya. That then brought captain Lanning to the middle.

The duo set along building the innings. The runs came thick and fast and as the spinners failed to cash in on the start provided by the opening seamers. The introduction of spinners shifted the momentum in the hosts’ favor as Haynes and Lanning motored along at a good rate and brought the team hundred up in the 18 over. Lanning brought her 14th ODI fifty up in just 47 balls. Shashikala Siriwardena, the skipper, came into the attack in the 19th over and put down a tough chance of Haynes on 45  and to rub salt into the wounds, she brought her 11th fifty in ODIs off 67 balls.

The hosts after the completion of 23 overs were placed at 132.

The pair sped up the scoring after getting to their respective milestones. Sri Lanka finally struck when Lannging’s sweep off Oshadi Ranasinghe found short fine leg. She had to walk back at 73 and the partnership had finally broken after 126 runs.

The old cliche of one wicket brings two came true as Haynes soon departed for 56, getting caught behind after being deceived in flight by Siriwardene. A moment of brilliance from Hansima Karunaratne saw Ellyse Perry, who crossed 3000 ODI runs, becoming the first to score those many runs as well as pick 150 wickets in the format, run out.

Beth Mooney then took over the mantle of scoring, making 66 runs off just 68 balls and in the process went past 1000 ODI runs. A useful hand from Georgia Wareham down the order helped Australia end with 281 runs.

Chasing 282 the visitors got off to a horrible start as Perry struck in the sixth ball of the innings to send Sanjeewani back for a blob. Harshitha Madhavi and Chamari Atapattu then joined forces to steady the ship.

However, the introduction of Tayla Vlaeminck brought the wicket of Madhavi, who was out for 22 while trying to flick one down the leg side. Vlaeminck could have had one more but Healy failed to latch on to simple chance of Atapattu, who had been a given a life on 12. However, the drop didn’t prove costly as Jonassen sent her back for 13 in the next over and Sri Lanka were tottering at three for 46 after 12 overs.

Australia’s spin then went on to choke the Sri Lankan batters, as boundaries dried up. Gardner, meanwhile, nowled three maidens on the trot as the tourists struggled to rotate strike as well.

Siriwardene, who top-scored with 30 for the visitors, was only able to fall wickets fall at the other end. Eventually she fell to Gardner to hasten the end.

Brief Scores: Australia 281/8 in 50 overs (Meg Lanning 73, Beth Mooney 66, Rachael Haynes 56; Udeshika Prabodhani 2/46, Oshadi Ranasinghe 2/67) beat Sri Lanka 124/10 in 41.3 overs (Shashikala Siriwardene 30, Harshitha Madhavi 22; Ashleigh Gardner 2/9, Tayla Vlaeminck 2/14, Jess Jonassen 2/17) by 157 runs. PoM: Meg Lanning.