The rapid reaction: Australia have completed their tour of Sri Lanka with a record-breaking Twenty20 victory over Sri Lanka after spin twins Kristen Beams and Jess Jonassen sparked yet another dire batting collapse by the hosts.
The score: Sri Lanka 8-59 off 20 overs (Beams 3-11) defeated by Australia 0-63 off 8.1 overs (Villani 34no and Mooney 29no) by 10 wickets with 71 balls to spare in the T20 at SSC Ground, Colombo.
The record: Australia’s victory by 10 wickets with 71 deliveries up their sleeve was the largest-ever – in terms of balls remaining – in women’s T20 internationals. Sri Lanka’s meagre total of 59 was the third-lowest overall and the worst score by a team batting first.
The hero: Kristen Beams again cashed in on some poor thinking - and worse execution – by the home side to claim three wickets, but it was the left-arm orthodox of Jess Jonassen that was most threatening. Jonassen was introduced during the Power Play to send down the sixth over of the afternoon and the top order immediately found it difficult to rotate the strike, let alone score boundaries. The pressure applied by the clever tweaker led to the run out of captain Chamari Atapattu for 4. Jonassen then produced a beauty with the third ball of her second over to bowl Lasanthi Madushani for 17, but more on that below. Jonassen used her variations – particularly her change of pace – brilliantly on her way to the frugal figures of 1-8 from the allotted four overs.
The surprise: The Southern Stars were dealt a blow when captain Meg Lanning was struck down with illness prior to the match. The skipper’s absence, along with that of allrounder Grace Harris who also missed the final ODI with illness, meant Australia only had 12 players to choose from for the tour finale. Vice-captain Alex Blackwell took the reins for the afternoon and opted to bowl after winning the toss.
The collapse: It wouldn’t be a match on this tour without a calamitous batting collapse by the home side and this one was close to their most embarrassing. Beams’ dismissal of the dangerous Prasadani Weerakkody led to the Sri Lankans losing 5-8 before Udeshika Prabodhani and Inoka Ranaweera batted out the remainder of the innings. Here’s a snapshot of the home side’s collapses in each match on this tour:
- First ODI: 5-3
- Second ODI: 5-35
- Third ODI: 7-20
- Fourth ODI: 6-15
- T20: 5-8
The ball: The aforementioned ball to send Madushani on her way was all class from Jonassen. The left-handed Australian drew the opener out of her crease and then watched on as it spun past the bat, allowing ‘keeper Alyssa Healy plenty of time to whip off the bails. It was about as good as it gets for a left-arm orthodox bowler
The chase: Beth Mooney’s first hit of the tour nearly came to an early close when she was dropped by Hasini Perera at first slip in the opening over, but the Australian openers rarely looked troubled for the remainder of the chase. Mooney worked the ball nicely through the gaps on offer, while Villani continued her strong finish to the one-day international series by plundering five fours and a brutal slog sweep for six in her 25-ball knock of 34. Mooney made the most of her time out in the middle with 29 runs from just 24 deliveries.
The wash-up: Australia now return home for a packed summer schedule that will see the players first join their states for the WNCL season, followed by a five-match ODI series against South Africa, the second season of the WBBL and then a trio of T20s against New Zealand at home in February.