The game’s winner, Rachael Haynes, believes Australia’s highly competitive win over Sri Lanka proves that they have the character to get back on track at the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.
Host Australia, which was defeated at the start of the T20 Women’s World Cup against India on Friday, survived a tremendous fright in Sri Lanka after their opponents, who chose a 123 chase, took three early gates within four overs.
But an impressive 60 by Haynes – her third half-century in 44 T20I innings – helped build a solid partnership with Captain Meg Lanning in the middle to achieve a five-wicket win.
With the defeat of Sri Lanka, which has likely put an end to their hopes of regaining their T20 title, Haynes praised their teammates – especially Lanning – for not being nerve-wracked during the chase.
“I think today showed a bit of our character, to be honest,” said Haynes. “World Cup tournaments are not easy. You have to keep winning, that’s the nature of the animal.
“It didn’t feel easy to hit out there, but I was very lucky that one of the best Batters in the world was on the other end.
“Meg and I played a lot of cricket together and we knew it was just about calming things down and making a really good partnership.
“I’m sure there were a few nerves today, but hopefully at the end of the line there will be some momentum for the rest of the tournament.”
They may only have missed a first Group A win, but Sri Lanka owed Chamari Athapaththu again for bringing it to 122/6.
The captain, who scored 41 goals against New Zealand on Saturday, scored 50 goals with the bat to trigger fierce competition at WACA – and she is pleased that her team could take Australia all the way.
“We did very well,” she said. “We pumped up when we took three pearly gates. Udeshika (Prabodani) is a top bowler on our team, but unfortunately, we lost to the world champion in the last game.
“I played my natural game and I love that pressure. I always love to play big teams under pressure.
“I still don’t think Australia has any weaknesses, but our performance shows that teams can win if they do well against them.”
“We won a lot of hearts in this tournament and I am very happy with my girls.”