Australia won the battle to finish second in Group A of the inaugural ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup with a comprehensive, 108-run win over Sri Lanka in Benoni, east of Johannesburg.
The win came courtesy of a hustling performance with the bat and a clinical effort with the ball which saw them wrap up the match with 42 balls to spare.
Chasing 160 to win after Australia posted 159/5, Sri Lanka lost their first wicket for three and never recovered from the slide to be bowled out for 51.
Ella Hayward, Sianna Ginger and Lucy Hamilton – whose match figures of 36 and 1/7, 30 and 1/2, and 22 and 2/0 respectively – all put in all-round performances in a team effort by the Aussies, with Hayward walking away with the player of the match award for a lively innings.
Sri Lanka’s decision to put Australia in to bat on a flat Willowmoore Park pitch veered from a good one to uninspired depending on whether runs were being scored or wickets were being taken.
Given that they target a score of around 40 runs in the power play, they were ahead of it when Kate Pelle was caught for 27 (four boundaries) at midwicket with the score on 41, a period which would usher a semblance of control for the Sri Lankan bowling attack.
Having induced the false stroke that got rid of Pelle, off-spinner Rismi Sanjana – playing her first match of the tournament – kept things tight in tandem with fellow spinner Vidushika Perera and had Claire Moore stumped for a second wicket that would lead to overall figures of 2/30.
With the boundaries drying up, the Aussies resorted to intense running between the wickets, with the 11th over yielding 10 lung-busting runs between Ginger and Ella Hayward.
That said, the Sri Lankans aided and abetted this with misfielding which produced dropped catches and missed opportunities.
With opener, Ginger, having dropped anchor for her 30 (31 balls, three fours), Amy Smith and Lucy Hamilton – who both scored brisk 22s – were on hand to give the innings the impetus to the eight runs an over chasing mark most teams have found difficult to reach in the tournament.
Hamilton, who fell to a controversial run-out after getting in a tangle with bowler Rashmi Nethranjali, was particularly belligerent, getting her runs from just 11 balls and hitting Australia’s only six of the innings in a Perera over in which she smashed 18 runs.