It was a shame of sorts that one of the finest hundreds in recent history went in vain as Australia cantered to their second consecutive win of the Women’s World Cup, beating Sri Lanka by eight wickets at Bristol on Thursday.
Australia’s regular inroads after electing to bowl first proved futile as Chamari Athapaththu (178* from 143) single-handedly took charge of the run-scoring responsibilities for her side.
The southpaw’s record-breaking feat saw her crack 22 boundaries and six sixes against a formidable attack, and register the third highest individual score. Athapaththu had amassed 69.26 percent of her team’s runs with the next highest score being Shashikala Siriwardene’s 24.
There were signs of the Lankans pulling off another upset win after humbling England in the 2013 edition when Australia opener Beth Mooney was removed by Sripali Weerakkody with only five runs on the board. However, Sri Lanka’s joy was short-lived as in-form opener Nicole Bolton (60) and skipper Meg Lanning (152* from 135) put up a breezy 133-run second wicket stand.
Bolton’s departure hardly upset the classy Lanning’s momentum as she went from strength to strength to posted her 11th One-day International century. The 25-year-old finished things off with a six and crossed the 150-run mark.
- Sri Lanka 257/9 in 50 Overs (Chamari Athapaththu 178*, Shashikala Siriwardene 24; Nicole Bolton 2/18, Kristen Beams 2/49, Ellyse Perry 2/52) lost to Australia 262/2 in 43.5 Overs (Meg Lanning 152* Nicole Bolton 60; Sripali Weerakkody 1/39) by 8 wickets