Summary: Match 5 – Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning steer Australia to a 5-wicket win over Sri Lanka

The Aussies literally snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at the WACA on Monday, when the hosts were found stuttering at 10-3 chasing a modest 123 against Sri Lanka.

 

Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes stitch a 95 Run Partnership for 4th Wicket. Credits: ICC
Meg Lanning and Rachael Haynes stitch a 95 Run Partnership for 4th Wicket. Credits: ICC

 

Winning the toss and electing to bat first, Sri Lanka, despite its skipper Chamari Athapaththu’s fluent half-century managed to put up a paltry 122-6 in 20 overs. Umesha Thimashini (20), wicket-keeper Anushka Sanjeewani (25), and Nilakshi de Silva (18) got off to starts but failed to capitalize as the Aussies got the better of them. Nicola Carey who made her way into the side in place of Annabel Sutherland picked up 2-18 in her three overs and received good support from Molly Strano who struck with 2-23 in her four.

In reply, the Aussies did not get off to the best of starts as the top order was sent packing in 3.2 overs by Udeshika Prabodhani and  Shashikala Siriwardene. The scoreboard read 10-3 when the captain Meg Lanning and her deputy Rachel Haynes came together. Suddenly the modest target of 123 started looking humongous as the defending champions lost three wickets in quick succession. Fresh from a magnificent half-century in the previous match against India, wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy failed to open her account as she was clean bowled by Prabodhani for a duck. Beth Mooney (6) and Ashleigh Gardner (2) were out cheaply, courtesy an impeccable opening spell from the spin-pace duo.

With 113 to get off 100, Lanning (41 not out) and Haynes (60) stitched a match-winning 95-run partnership to see their team in a comfortable position. Having tamed the Aussies brilliantly at the start of the innings, the Sri Lankans were guilty of letting loose. Though Prabodhani (2-17) and Siriwardene (2-20) did exactly what the doctor ordered for, the dyad could not find able allies to break the Lanning-Haynes partnership. The hosts chased down the target with five wickets in hand and three balls to spare.

Losing two out of two matches, Sri Lanka would look to put up a tough fight against India on Saturday to keep their hopes alive in this World T20. On the other hand, Australia would be pleased with their win, after having gone down to the Indians in the World Cup opener.

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