Chasing a modest target against Sri Lanka, Australia were wobbling at 10 for three. Suddenly the 120 odd runs total seemed just enough. Worst for the hosts had scored just 20 runs in the power play. Skipper Meg Lanning was at the other end, playing her 100th T20I and she was joined by vice-captain Rachael Haynes. The duo got together and went about their chase clinically with a partnership worth 95 runs and Haynes scored 60 of those taking some pressure off Lanning.
“Actually, it was feeling okay, particularly walking out there as well and pretty fortunate that one of the best batters in the world is standing at the other end. Meg and I played a lot of cricket together,” said Haynes. “We knew it was just a matter of calming things down and slowing the game down a little bit and getting a really good partnership together. I think we were able to consolidate and do that.”
After their loss to India, this was a much-needed victory for Australia although not a comprehensive one but still they are up and running. And for Haynes, it was the character and the positive mindset that set them through. “I hope today we showed our character, to be honest. World Cup tournaments aren’t easy and playing at home, we’re enjoying the opportunity to do it,” added Haynes.
“You can’t escape the fact it’s different from a normal series where perhaps you can drop a game here or there and get back in the contest, whereas World Cup cricket, you have to keep winning. That’s the nature of the beast.”
Over the course of one year, Australia have kept their batting line-up flexible and maintained the left-right combination. Haynes feels the move is working and belives it is the right formula going ahead.
“I actually don’t mind it. We don’t necessarily look at it in the traditional sense of you’re opening today or you’re batting at 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. It’s more sometimes comes down to the situation, or as we’ve shown, left-right hand combinations,” quipped Haynes. “So sometimes Ellyse Perry will go in ahead of me. Sometimes I’ll go in ahead of Ash Gardner. It just sort of comes down to the balance of the match.”