Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy struck unbeaten half-centuries as defending champions Australia thrashed Sri Lanka by 10 wickets to virtually qualify for the semifinals of the Women’s T20 World Cup here on Thursday.
Medium pacer Megan Schutt (4/24) returned with a four-wicket haul as Australia dished out a clinical bowling display to restrict Sri Lanka to 112 for 8 after opting to bowl.
It turned out to be a cakewalk for Australia as Healy and and Mooney shared an unbeaten 113-run opening stand to chase down the target in 15.5 overs.
While Mooney remained unbeaten on 56 off 53 balls, Healy made 54 not out off 43 deliveries.
Mooney struck seven boundaries during her knock, while Healy decorated her innings with six fours and one hit over the fence as Australia continued their dominance in the tournament.
By virtue of this win, Australia consolidated their position at the top of Group 1 with three wins out of as many games, while Sri Lanka are placed second with two victories from three matches.
Australia will face hosts South Africa in their final game on Saturday, while Sri Lanka will be up against New Zealand a day later.
The total was too small a target for the formidable Australian batting line-up as Sri Lankan bowlers never looked threatening and struggled to break the dominant opening partnership, enabling the Southern Stars to register a commanding win.
Sent in to bat, Sri Lanka’s innings never got going as they lost wickets at regular intervals.
Harshitha Samarawickrama (34) and skipper Chamari Athapaththu (16) stitched 30 runs off 29 balls for the opening wicket before the latter was caught at mid-on by Grace Harris off the bowling of Ellyse Perry (1/20).
Samarawickrama, whose runs came off 40 balls with the help of three boundaries, then shared 39 runs with Vishmi Gunaratne (24).
But just when the partnership was looking dangerous, Samarawickrama was stumped by Alyssa Healy off Harris.
Harris struck again four balls later, accounting for Oshadi Ranasinghe for a duck.
Thereafter, Sri Lanka kept losing wickets at regular intervals to manage a below-par total.
Besides Schutt’s four wickets, Harris (2/7) picked up two wickets while Perry (1/14) and Georgia Wareham (1/20) scalped one each.
Sri Lanka: 112 for 8 in 20 overs (Harshitha Samarawickrama 34; Megan Schutt 4/24, Grace Harris 2/7).
Australia: 113 for no loss in 15.5 overs (Beth Mooney 56 not out, Alyssa Healy 54 not out).