New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) The Australian women’s cricket team registered a commanding nine-wicket victory over Sri Lanka to boost its World Twenty20 semi-final hopes at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Thursday.
Elyse Villani (not out 53) and Meg Lanning (not out 56) shared a 98-run stand for the second wicket as the Australian chased down Sri Lankan total of 123/8 with nine wickets and 2.4 overs to spare in the Group A clash.
With this win, Australia have four points from three games, while Sri Lanka are fourth with two points from equal number of matches.
Australia face lowest placed team Ireland in their final group phase game and a win will certainly take them through to the last four stage. From this Group A, New Zealand have confirmed their semi-finals entry by winning their first three games.
In the match, Sri Lanka failed build up on the 75-run second-wicket stand between Chamari Atapattu (38) and Dilani Manodara (38). The duo didn’t allow Australians to put further pressure after opener Yasoda Mendis (0) lost her wicket in the second delivery of the opening over bowled by Erin Osborne.
They resisted the pressure and pushed ahead with ones and twos mixing it with occasional boundaries. Sri Lanka were 75/2 in the 10.3 overs when Dilani lost her wicket.
Later, Australia took the game in control by picking wickets at regular intervals with right-arm medium pacer Megan Schutt (2/25) and leg-spinner Kristen Beams (2/25) being at the centre of it.
However, Sri Lanka managed to put up a competitive total of 123/8 in 20 overs. But Villani and Lanning had other ideas as they scored their seventh half-centuries.
They took the attack to the opposition and came out with flying colours. While Villani’s 39-ball 53 was pappered with nine hits to the fence, Lanning’s 53-ball 56 had eight fours.