Sri Lanka succumbed to a mammoth 132-run defeat in the 3rd and final T20I against Australia, at the North Sydney Oval, after Alyssa Healy’s record 148 propelled the hosts to 226/2 in their 20 overs.
Australian skipper Meg Lanning won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on a pitch that had produced nearly 400 runs just a couple of days ago. True to their form throughout the series, the hosts’ openers Healy and Beth Mooney got the team off to another good start, as the pair raced to 50 in under 5 overs.
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Healy was rampant once again, finding the boundary with ease even after the fielding restrictions were lifted. She seemed to relish the slow medium pace of Ama Kanchana in particular, smashing 6 fours and 2 sixes off the right-armer’s 2 overs. Though Mooney fell in the 6th over, Rachel Haynes joined the Aussie party to put on 109 for the 2nd wicket alongside Healy.
Sri Lanka seemed to have no answers on how to stop Healy and the onslaught by the right-hander saw Australia post 226, their 2nd 200+ score of the series. Healy’s 148 not out, took out the record for the highest score in Women’s T20Is which was previously held by Meg Lanning (133* vs England, Chelmford 2019). It is also the highest score by a wicketkeeper in T20I cricket, surpassing Brendon McCullum 123*against Bangladesh at the World T20 in Sri Lanka.
Much like with Sri Lanka’s batting, Chamari Atapattu was left to do all the work with the ball too and finished with 2/27; every other Sri Lankan bowler went at over 8 runs an over.
With Yasoda Mendis left out of the Sri Lankan XI in this game, Anushka Meegama was promoted up the order and looked decent too until she missed a straight one from Megan Schutt to be bowled. Meegama was dismissed in a similar fashion in the previous game too, beaten for pace by Schutt.
After being carted to all parts of the oval in the 1st game, the Australian bowlers adjusted brilliantly to counter the threat of Atapattu, peppering her with slower deliveries on a regular basis. One drop batter Harshitha Samarawickrama looked comfortable in the middle, as she joined her skipper for a 46-run stand for the 2nd wicket – Sri Lanka’s highest of the game.
However, Sri Lanka were never really in the game at any point of their chase and with the dismissal of Atapattu for 30, the chances of them getting to a respectable total also diminished significantly. The visitors ultimately finished on 94/8 in their 20 overs, conceding a 132-run win to Australia, who have registered 8 wins in their 9 T20Is this year.
Nicola Carey, who hasn’t had a bat in the series, made sure she left her mark with the ball, picking up 3/15 in her 4 overs to lead the Australian attack.
The teams will now move to Brisbane for the 3 Women’s Championship ODIs, which will commence on the 5th of October.