CommBank ODI Series v Sri Lanka
How Lanning's Australians made history
From Baroda to Brisbane, here's how the Australian women's cricket team set a new world record for consecutive ODI wins
Laura Jolly previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, and is now cricket.com.au Women's Cricket Editor providing dedicated coverage to all aspects of the women's game
Australia have made cricket history, thrashing Sri Lanka by nine wickets at Allan Border Field to set a new mark for most consecutive wins in women's ODIs.
An unbeaten 112 from Alyssa Healy ensured the result of the third and final one-dayer was never in doubt, continuing a winning run of 18 matches that started in March last year.
The current side have now surpassed the previous record set by Belinda Clark’s Australian team between December 1997 and February 1999, which included a World Cup win.
Australia have not tasted defeat in the 50-over format in almost two years, sweeping the five series they’ve played since.
Impressively, 12 of their 18 wins have come on foreign soil, from the subcontinent to the unknown quantity of Malaysia as well as the United Kingdom and the Caribbean.
The current streak started far from home in Baroda, India, where capacity crowds in excess of 10,000 people flocked to vocally support the hosts.
From there, skipper Meg Lanning took her team to Malaysia, to meet Pakistan on neutral territory, before continuing the run on home soil, albeit with a scare against New Zealand in Perth at the start of this year, where they held on to win by just five runs.
Onto England for the Ashes, where another 3-0 sweep put Australia well on track to retain the coveted trophy, before a maiden ODI tour of the Caribbean, where tons to Lanning, Alyssa Healy and Ellyse Perry ensured another undefeated series.
Then, this week in Brisbane, they completed a dominant sweep of Sri Lanka to seal a place in the record books and put them on track to possibly break the overall record, the 21 wins recorded by Ricky Ponting’s Australians in 2003.
Take a look back at Australia's unbeaten run, which started 18 months ago in India.
1) March 12, 2018 (Baroda): India 200 (Jonassen 4-30) def by Australia 2-202 (Bolton 100*) by eight wickets
A superb century from opener Nicole Bolton laid the foundation for an emphatic eight-wicket win.
After a four-wicket haul from Jess Jonassen helped restrict India to 200, Bolton’s brilliant knock anchored a clinical chase as the tourists reached their target with 17.5 overs to spare.
2) March 15, 2018 (Baroda): Australia 9-287 (Bolton 84) def India 227 (Jonassen 3-51) by 60 runs
A brilliant all-round display with the bat and in the field sealed a series win for the Australians.
Needing a record-breaking 288 to keep the series alive, India opener Smriti Mandhana had the hosts on track early when she blazed a half-century but she was the only home batter to pass fifty as the Australian attack – led by a miserly Megan Schutt – fought back to seal a 60-run victory.
3) March 18, 2018 (Baroda): Australia 7-332 (Healy 133) def India 235 (Gardner 3-40) by 97 runs
A maiden international century from Alyssa Healy and a brilliant fightback with the ball led by Ashleigh Gardner guided Australia to an ODI series whitewash.
Batting first, Healy’s 133 helped Australia reach 7-332, their first ODI total above 300 since 2012, before India opener Smriti Mandhana and 17-year-old Jemimah Rodrigues raced to 0-101 from 13 overs,
It was going to take a piece of magic to stop the aggressive batters on a good wicket and lightning-fast outfield, but Gardner produced exactly that, turning the game back in Australia’s favour.
4) October 18, 2018 (Kuala Lumpur): Pakistan 95 (Schutt 3-17) def by Australia 5-95 (Healy 26) by five wickets
Having bowled Pakistan out for 95 during a rain-interrupted first innings, Australia suffered a wobble in their pursuit of a revised target of 92 when they lost 3 for 12.
But Rachael Haynes and Beth Mooney steadied the ship as Australia reached their target with 112 balls to spare.
5) October 20, 2018 (Kuala Lumpur): Australia 7-273 (Lanning 106) def Pakistan 123 (Molineux 4-14) by 150 runs
Electing to bat first at Kinrara Academy Ground, a record-breaking 181-run stand between Meg Lanning and deputy Rachael Haynes rescued their team from a precarious position, with Lanning bringing up her 12th one-day ton and her first since returning from shoulder surgery, as Australia posted 7-273.
Pakistan's Nahida Khan defied the tourists with a half-century in reply, but it wasn’t enough as Sophie Molineux’s 4-14 helped dismiss the hosts for 123.
6) October 22, 2018 (Kuala Lumpur): Australia 7-324 (Healy 97) def Pakistan 7-235 (Gardner 3-44) by 89 runs
Brilliant batting from Alyssa Healy and Ashleigh Gardner and another superb display from left-arm spinner Sophie Molineux helped Australia seal an ODI series whitewash.
Healy (97) gave the Australian innings an explosive start before falling agonisingly short of a second ODI century, while a powerful maiden international fifty from Gardner (62no from 37) propelled the Australian total to 7-324.
Pakistan made a spirited reply but the pressure applied by Molineux, who finished with 1-16 off 10, meant the mammoth target was always far out of reach.
7) February 22, 2019 (Perth): Australia 241 (Haynes 67) def New Zealand 9-236 (Jonassen 4-43) by five runs
Jess Jonassen’s brilliant fightback with the ball saw Australia claim a thrilling five-run victory at the WACA.
Needing 242 for victory, the White Ferns were cruising at 4-188 before Australia – led by left-arm spinner Jonassen’s four wickets – fought back superbly to restrict their trans-Tasman rivals to 9-236.
Amy Satterthwaite seemed destined to lead her team to victory but her captain’s knock of 92 wasn’t enough for New Zealand, as the White Ferns skipper fell to Jonassen in the penultimate over.
8) February 24, 2019 (Adelaide): Australia 7-247 (Perry 107) def New Zealand 152 (Jonassen 5-27) by 95 runs
Ellyse Perry's maiden one-day international century and a five-wicket haul to Jess Jonassen ensured Australia continued their 20-year one-day dominance over New Zealand.
Defending what seemed a below-par total of 7-247 at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval, left-arm spinner Jonassen took a career-best 5-27 from eight overs to help bowl New Zealand out for 152, securing a 95-run win and the Rose Bowl Trophy with one match to play.
Earlier, Perry top-scored with 107no (110), executing the anchor role with aplomb as she steered Australia out of a spot of bother, sharing a vital and ultimately match-defining stand with Beth Mooney (42).
9) March 3, 2019 (Melbourne): New Zealand 8-231 (Gardner 3-49) def by Australia 3-233 (Perry 54*) by seven wickets
A superb display with the ball – and two spectacular pieces of fielding – set the scene for the hosts, with off-spinner Ashleigh Gardner (3-49) and leg-spinner Georgia Wareham (2-36) leading the way as the White Ferns were restricted to 8-231 despite a fighting half-century from Sophie Devine.
Then, a clinical chase saw Australia home in 47.5 overs, thanks to a half-century to Ellyse Perry and solid contributions from skipper Meg Lanning (48), Rachael Haynes (46) and Alyssa Healy (46).
10) July 2, 2019 (Leicester): England 177 (Perry 3-43) def by Australia 8-178 (Healy 66) by two wickets
Australia drew first blood in the women's Ashes when they edged home by two wickets in a nervy encounter at Leicester's Grace Road.
In what turned out to be a low-scoring thriller, a stunning new-ball display from quicks Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt handed Australia a dream start to the opening ODI of the multi-format series, leaving England's top-order in disarray at 4-19 before Natalie Sciver's fighting 64 helped the hosts reach 177.
Alyssa Healy (66) then looked poised to guide the Australians to victory – despite key wickets falling cheaply at the other end – but her dismissal in the 26th over the opened the door for England.
A brilliant spell from 20-year-old left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone (3-34) piled the pressure on Australia's lower order, before the calm head of experienced Queenslander Delissa Kimmince ultimately steered the tourists home in the 43rd over.
11) July 4, 2019 (Leicester): England 217 (Kimmince 5-26) def by Australia 6-218 (Perry 62) by four wickets
Australia extended their lead in the multi-format Ashes after Ellyse Perry top-scored with 62 as Australia reached their target of 218 with 28 balls to spare.
Queensland pair Beth Mooney (43no) and Jess Jonassen (31no) saw the tourists home after a middle-order wobble, after Delissa Kimmince's maiden international five-for restricted England despite an outstanding 115 from opener Tammy Beaumont.
12) July 7, 2019 (Canterbury): Australia 7-267 (Lanning 69) def England 75 (Perry 7-22) by 194 runs
Ellyse Perry claimed the best ever ODI bowling figures by an Australian woman to put her team on the cusp of retaining the women's Ashes.
Perry's remarkable spell of bowling reaped 7-22 from 10 overs as England were bowled out for 75 – their lowest-ever total against Australia – bettering the previous best one-day figures for an Australian woman, the 7-24 taken by current assistant coach Shelley Nitschke in 2005.
After half-centuries to Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning took Australia to 7-269, Perry – assisted by Megan Schutt – ripped through England's top-order to leave them reeling at 6-21 at one stage in the run chase.
13) September 5, 2019 (Antigua): Australia 4-308 (Healy 122) def West Indies 130 (Perry 3-17) by 178 runs
Twin centuries to Meg Lanning and Alyssa Healy led the way as Australia romped to a 178-run victory at the Coolidge Cricket Ground.
Healy’s 122 and Lanning’s 121 laid the foundation as Australia piled on 4-308 from their 50 overs, the highest women’s ODI total ever scored in the West Indies, before Ellyse Perry led the way with the ball, taking three wickets.
14) September 8, 2019 (Antigua): Australia 2-308 (Perry 112) def West Indies 8-157 (Wareham 2-29) by 151 runs
A dramatic first innings at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium had it all; a last-minute change of captain for the Australians, a rushed cap presentation ceremony for a debutant, an innings retirement due to the stifling heat, the joint-fastest ODI fifty by an Australian woman and of course, Perry’s second ODI hundred.
It was Perry’s brilliant unbeaten 112 from 118 deliveries that laid the foundation for Australia’s total of 2-308, their second consecutive total above 300.
The superhuman allrounder then defied all notions of fatigue to take the new ball, picking up the wicket of Windies opener Stacy Ann King in her second over, setting the scene for yet another series win.
15) September 11, 2019 (Antigua): West Indies 180 (Schutt 3-24) def by Australia 2-182 (Healy 61) by eight wickets
Megan Schutt made history with a one-day international hat-trick as Australia claimed an ODI clean sweep against the West Indies.
Schutt became the first Australian woman to take an ODI hat-trick when she cleaned up the Windies tail with three wickets from the final three balls of the innings.
Needing 181 for a 3-0 series sweep, a 27-ball half-century from Alyssa Healy put the tourists well on track in the chase before Meg Lanning (58no) and Ellye Perry (33no) saw Australia home with eight wickets in hand in the 32nd over.
16) October 5, 2019 (Brisbane): Australia 8-281 (Lanning 73) def Sri Lanka 124 (Gardner 2-9) by 157 runs
Defending 282 after a fightback from the Sri Lankan bowlers saw a flurry of wickets fall in the back-half of the first innings, Tayla Vlaeminck and Ashleigh Gardner produced superb spells to ensure the target was kept well out of reach.
Half-centuries to Meg Lanning (73 off 66 balls), Rachael Haynes (56 off 76) and Beth Mooney (66 off 68) earlier in the day ensured Australia posted a solid total that proved too much for the tourists.
17) October 7, 2019 (Brisbane): Australia 8-282 (Haynes 118) def Sri Lanka 9-172 (Jonassen 4-31) by 110 runs
Between Rachael Haynes' maiden international century, debutante Heather Graham’s first international wicket and Jess Jonassen’s 100th ODI wicket, it was a day to remember for the all-conquering Australian women.
Haynes’ 118 set the scene, before Jonassen’s four-wicket haul saw Australia storm to a record-equalling 17th consecutive victory.
18) October 9, 2019 (Brisbane): Sri Lanka 8-195 (Wareham 2-18) def by Australia 0-196 (Healy 112*) by nine wickets
With the world record on the line at Allan Border Field, a strong all-round performance from the Australian bowlers held Sri Lanka to 8-195 despite a brilliant century from Chamari Attapaththu.
Alyssa Healy and Rachael Haynes could not have made a more emphatic statement in reply, with Healy bringing up a third ODI century before sealing victory with a six as Australia romped home by nine wickets in 26.5 overs - the icing on the cake of a stunning run.
CommBank Series v Sri Lanka
Australia squad: Meg Lanning (c), Rachael Haynes (vc), Erin Burns (T20I only), Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Heather Graham, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Tayla Vlaeminck, Georgia Wareham
Sri Lanka T20I squad: Chamari Atapattu (c), Harshitha Madavi, Shashikala Siriwardena, Anushka Sanjeewani, Hansima Karunaratne, Yashoda Mendis, Nilakshi De Silva, Dilani Manodara, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandhika Kumari, Inoshi Fernando, Achini Kulasooriya, Udeshika Probodhani, Ama Kanchana.
First T20I: Australia won by 41 runs
Second T20I: Australia won by 9 wickets
Third T20I: Australia won by 132 runs
First ODI: Australia won by 157 runs
Second ODI:Australia won by 110 runs
Third ODI: Australia won by nine wickets
*All ODIs are ICC Women's Championship matches