Women's World Cup 2013, Super Sixes February 10, 2013

Australia march into final


Australia 132 for 1 (Haynes 71*) beat Sri Lanka 131 (Rasangika 43, Osborne 3-9) by nine wickets

Australia entered the Women's World Cup final with their fifth successive win in the tournament, completing a nine-wicket demolition of Sri Lanka with 27.4 overs to spare. Jodie Fields asked Sri Lanka to bat in the morning, and set attacking fields for her bowlers throughout. All six bowlers responded with wickets, the offspinner Erin Osborne returning remarkable figures of 10-6-9-3 after seamer Julie Hunter's 6-3-6-1. Australia's batting, which has been a source of concern, had little trouble getting to the target of 132, with the openers Rachael Haynes and Meg Lanning drowning Sri Lanka's remaining hopes in a flood of boundaries.

An hour into their innings, Sri Lanka were in trouble at 41 for 4 and it had it not been for a face-saving stand between Deepika Rasangika and Dilani Manodara, they would have struggled to get to 100. Fields did not let them get too far beyond that mark. The Australia captain was relentless in her pursuit of wickets, crowding the inner circle with fielders through the innings. One of the few times she had the maximum permissible four fielders in the deep was when the hard-hitting Eshani Kaushalya came in. The pressure of trying to beat the infield led to the regular fall of Sri Lanka wickets. This despite Australia's lead seamer Ellyse Perry missing her second successive game, this time with an ankle injury.

Megan Schutt did not need any help from her fielders in getting the opening breakthrough. Yasoda Mendis pushed tentatively at an incoming delivery and was bowled through the gate. Chamari Atapattu tried to go hard over mid-off but chose a slower one to do that, and could not clear the field. Holly Ferling, the 17-year old quick, struck in her opening spell again, sending back Sri Lanka captain Shashikala Siriwardene who nudged one down leg to the wicketkeeper Fields.

The Australian captain kept the field up after the opening Powerplay, and also left cover vacant to invite the drive against the offspin of Lisa Sthalekar. Sandamali Dolawatte went for the stroke to a flighted one, and a delighted Fields snapped up the edge. There was turn and bounce for the spinners but Surangika responded the way she had played against India. She lofted the seamers down the ground, swatted them through extra cover and also cut hard. Batting with a cap on, she even hooked the pacy Ferling to the deep square leg rope.

Rasangika was put down by Sarah Coyte off her own bowling on 22, but Australia restricted the partnership to 49 as Schutt had the batsman caught on 43 at short extra cover with the fifth ball of her second spell in the 31st over. Manodara, who had edged Coyte twice past the slips for four, fell in the next over as she tried to hit Osborne over mid-on, Schutt backpedalling to take a well-judged catch.

Kaushalya, who had shocked England and India with her powerful hits, did not hang around for too long. She slog-swept her fourth delivery from Osborne and Alex Blackwell took a low catch diving forward at midwicket. After some resistance from the tail, Sri Lanka were all out for 131.

Australia's opening pair rendered the game even more one-sided as they added 55 in under 10 overs. Lanning played out a maiden first up to Udeshika Prabodhani, and was on 1 off 14 before she cut loose. Drives, pulls, cuts, and a straight six appeared in no time as she raced to 37 off 36 before cutting one to slip.

Haynes took over, piercing the off-side field with numerous drives as Sri Lanka's fielding fell apart. She hit a couple over the advertising boards at long-on for six before bringing up the win with another cover drive for four. She was on 71 off just 61 by then, and Australia were in their seventh World Cup final in nine attempts.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Roo on February 11, 2013, 3:59 GMT

    Happy with the Oz top order showing consistent form & the bowling looks good even without Perry...

    Still cannot follow the logic of not bowling Julie Hunter out in the last 3 games: 6-3-6-1 econ @1.00 ... 7-2-15-2 econ @2.14 ... 6-2-17-1 econ @2.83 ...

    With the Kiwi's showing good form it looks like a Trans-Tasman final - he me, a perfect end to the WWC...

  • C on February 11, 2013, 0:55 GMT

    Good show Sri Lanka. For me the team of this tournament has been Sri Lanka. They have shown spunk and surprised everyone with. A few more years down the line we may even see them at the top. Womens cricket needs more exposure and it was pathetic to see the empty stadiums , even for the Indian matches.

  • B on February 11, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    Well done SL women's team. You continued the reputation of boys team....choke....choke..choke. Really chokers team both men's as well as women.

  • Dummy4 on February 10, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    Well done to the Aussie women... would be nice if we got the final on free to air TV.

  • Madu on February 10, 2013, 20:48 GMT

    I am immensely proud of our SL ladies for their fighting spirit.Eventhough they cudnt qualify for semi's they have won alot of hearts for the way they have played the game.They have sent a message to the whole cricketing world that their rise to power has already begun and will make a mark in the world as a formidable ladies cricketing powerhouse in the future.Look out people,here comes the SL lionesses.Wihing u the very best.Make ur Island proud.JAYASRI.

  • Al on February 10, 2013, 20:27 GMT

    You lost this match but you have given a lot of hope for the future of womens cricket in Sri Lanka. Your good showing in the tournament will surely influence and encourage many more women to take up cricket in the island. I'm quite convinced you will be world champs in the near future with an acumen second to none.Congragulations!

  • Peter on February 10, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    well done Sri Lanka....you have perhaps paved the way for other Sri Lankan women to take up the sport. And for many others to tune into watch women's cricket in SL. Hold our head's high, you guys made us proud.

  • Ranil on February 10, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    I thought the toss played a big part sending the Lankans to bat first;had they chased the result would have been different.However the talk of the town in this WC is Sri Lanka who have given notice that they will be a force to reckon with from now on.Well done Sri Lanka! Ranil Herath - Kent

  • FirstName on February 10, 2013, 13:05 GMT

    @Amila - Granted that SL has more success than India (strictly in limited over format) in Aus. But that is offset by inability to beat India either home or away LOL. Always puts you below India no matter what.