Australia Women 254 for 8 (Bolton 64, Blackwell 56*, Atapattu 3-31) beat Sri Lanka Women 176 for 9 (Polgampola 68*, Extras 50, Beams 4-15) by 78 runs
Riding on Kristen Beams' four-wicket haul and half-centuries from Nicole Bolton and Alex Blackwell, Australia Women thrashed Sri Lanka Women by 78 runs in Dambulla to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match ODI series. The win made Australia Women the first team to secure direct entry for the 2017 Women's World Cup.
Sri Lanka's chase of 255 got off to a terrible start as they were reduced to 35 for 5 in the 18th over, with Beams taking three of the first five wickets. The hosts ultimately managed to cobble together 176 for 9, helped considerably by the 41 runs in wides offered up by Australia's bowlers. That still left Sri Lanka with a big defeat, as only Chamari Polgampola playing an innings of substance.
After Australia opted to bat, the top three laid a very solid platform, courtesy scores of 64, 45 and 29 from Nicole Bolton, Elyse Villani and Meg Lanning. Bolton put on 81 off 17.5 overs with Villani for the opening stand, before adding 67 off 11.4 overs with Lanning for the second wicket.
Australia had moved to 148 for 1 before Bolton's dismissal, in the 30th over, opened a passage of play in which they lost 5 for 38 in 12.1 overs. Chamari Atapattu took three of those wickets and ended with figures of 3 for 31 in her 10 overs. Blackwell's unbeaten 56 off 64 helped them to recover to post 254, with Erin Osborne and Megan Schutt chipping in to keep Blackwell company.
Holly Ferling and Beams then wreaked havoc on Sri Lanka's top order, sharing the first five wickets between them to leave the home team tottering by the 18th over. Eshani Lokusuriyage resisted for a while with 20 off 28, before she became Beams' fourth wicket. Beams' finished with figures of 4 for 15 off 10 overs having broken the back of Sri Lanka's batting with her legspin.
Sri Lanka slumped further to 100 for 8 in 35 overs, before showing some fight to bat out their 50 overs. Polgampola, who had come in at No. 3, finished unbeaten on 68 off 136, but the second highest contributor to Sri Lanka's total was 'Extras' which accounted for exactly 50 runs. Of those, 41 came from wides alone. Remarkably, Australia's bowlers delivered a total of 26 wide balls; each bowler bowled at least one, with Ferling bowling as many as 10.
However, even that blemish could not prevent Australia from romping to a big win and collecting two points in the Women's Championship.