Records tumbled at North Sydney Oval as Australia demolished Sri Lanka in the third and final T20I to beat them a whopping margin of 132 runs on Wednesday (October 2). The hosts thus whitewashed Sri Lanka to clinch the series 3-0.
Alyssa Healy scored her maiden T20I ton off just 61 balls. Healy thus broke Meg Lanning’s record of 133 – which was the highest individual T20I score. The wicketkeeper-batter carried her bat through and put on an absolute show with the bat. Healy blitzed through the visitors’ bowlers by crunching 19 fours and hit seven sixes to take Australia to a commanding position, finishing unbeaten on 148. It is the second-best in all women’s T20s.
Due to that, Australia posted 226 for 2, equalling their highest total in the format.
Australia won the toss elected to bat first and Beth Mooney started off by hitting a boundary off Udeshika Prabodhani. Healy got going when she crunched a square cut off the bowling of Achini Kulasuriya. The next ball Healy did better as she smacked the ball to fine leg to bring up the first six for the hosts. Australia, as was the case in the previous two matches, got off to another blistering start as they raced to 16 off the first two overs. Ama Kanchana’s introduction into the attack brought two boundaries off the bat of Healy as she signaled her intent straightway as she spanked Kanchana for 19 runs in her first over.
Sri Lanka had an opportunity in the fifth over the innings to dismiss Mooney but the fielder (Oshadi Ranasinghe) grassed an easy opportunity off Prabodhani. Mooney was on eight when the catch was dropped. Healy brought the hosts fifty up with some style as she whipped Probodhani over mid-wicket for her third maximum.
Sri Lanka finally had something to cheer about when they dismissed Beth Mooney for 14. Chamari Atapattu, the skipper, struck off her fourth ball and beat Mooney in the flight to dislodge the stumps. The hosts finished the powerplay strongly on 60 for one.
Rachael Haynes was promoted up the order at three she was edgy to start with. Shashikala Siriwardene drew her forward and managed to get her edge but the wicketkeeper grassed it and another chance had gone begging. To rub salt into wounds of the visitors, Haynes dispatched Ranasinghe straight down the ground for four. Haynes got into the groove and scored another boundary straight over the bowler’s head. Healy, on the other hand, brought her 10th T20I fifty off just 25 balls. At the halfway mark Australia were strongly placed at 88 for one.
The partnership between Haynes and Healy ticked along nicely as the duo brought the hundred up in the 11 over. Haynes was playing the second fiddle as the duo brought up their fifty-run partnership. Healy looked set to race through for her hundred as Australia with seven overs still to go were placed at 133 for one.
Healy soon reached her maiden hundred and the second-fastest hundred off just 46 balls. She also broke Meg Lanning’s record of the fastest hundred for Australia. Lanning scored it off 54 balls. The duo of Haynes and Healy brought 100 runs partnership off just 62 balls s the hosts looked set to post 200.
Sri Lanka finally had a wicket when they dismissed Haynes for 41. Atapattu struck for the second time in the innings. Healy was hard to stop in the last three overs as she hit boundaries at will. She broke Lanning’s record of 133 with a straight six and fittingly Lanning was at the other end and hugged her partner as Australia finished their innings on 226 for the loss of just two wickets. It was also the highest team total on Australian soil.
Chasing a mammoth 227, Sri Lanka hopes solely hinged on Atapattu. The visitors had a new opening partner for their skipper as Anushka Sanjeewani came to bat in place of Yashoda Mendis. Atapattu though, was sedate to begin with as Tayla Vlaeminck and Erin Burns, the new ball bowlers for the hosts, were right on the money.
Megan Schutt came into the attack in the fourth over and she immediately struck off the first ball. Schutt swung the ball in and Sanjeewani had no answer to it as her stumps were dismantled in no time. Sri Lanka were struggling at the completion of six overs as they scored just 31 runs. The required run rate was climbing upwards of 17 and the task looked impossible every minute as Sri Lanka could manage only three boundaries in the power play.
Harshita Madhavi and Atapattu managed to hit boundaries but not as continuously as they would have liked. Atapattu struggled for timing as Australia tightened the screws around the batters. The visitors crawled to 50 in the ninth over and defeat was now inevitable. The last glimmer of hope, Atapattu, too, departed for 31 runs. Nicola Carey shattered the stumps of the batter with a brute of a yorker. Sri Lanka were on 64 at the completion of 12 overs and it was about how much they eventually get to minimize the margin of defeat. The hosts struck for the third time as Vlaeminck struck for the first time by trapping Manodora in front.
Madhavi waged a lone battle as wickets tumbled at other end From being 62 for one in the 11th over, Sri Lanka finished at 94 for seven eventually.
Brief Scores: Australia 226/2 in 20 overs (Alyssa Healy 148*, Rachael Haynes 41; Chamari Atapattu 2-27) beat Sri Lanka 94/7 in 20 (Chamari Atapattu 30, Harshita Madhavi 28; Nicola Carey 3-15) by 132 runs. PoM: Alyssa Healy.