A maiden T20I hundred by Chamari Atapattu couldn’t trump Beth Mooney’s identical 113 in a run-heavy Australia-Sri Lanka women’s T20I in Sydney that saw several records tumble.
Mooney scored her second T20I hundred, the first one in a winning cause, as Sri Lanka fell short of Australia’s 217-4 by 41 runs. Even though the margin was a substantial one, in the end, it gave Sri Lanka women their first T20I centurion, with Atapattu attempting the chase in domineering fashion.
Mooney became only the fourth female cricketer to score multiple T20I 100s, steering her side to the highest-ever T20I total on Australian soil, their second-best overall. Mooney’s 113, off 61 balls, was laced with 20 fours, the most in a single T20I innings, male or female, bettering her own record of 19 from two years ago.
— Australian Women's Cricket Team ? (@AusWomenCricket) September 29, 2019
Australia won the toss courtesy Alyssa Healy, who flipped the coin on behalf of Meg Lanning, choosing to bat first. Healy, who made a blazing 21-ball 43, along with her opening partner Mooney, fired Australia to 72-0 in 6.3 overs. Soon the hosts lost a couple of quick wickets. A rare failure for the in-form Meg Lanning did not deter Mooney, who shared a 115-run stand with No.4 Ashleigh Gardner. Mooney fell in the 19th over, with Australia on the cusp of 200.
Impressive performances with the bat from these two today ? pic.twitter.com/p90oetGVcm
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 29, 2019
Sri Lanka’s response was largely from the bat of Atapattu, who had urged her teammates to play freely ahead of the game. Staying true to her word, she slammed a stroke-filled ton after a steady start, becoming the only woman to score a century against Australia in both ODIs and T20Is.
She accelerated from 50 to 100 in just 16 balls while valiantly attempting to keep up with the steep asking rate, which eventually never fell below double-digits. She found little support at the other end, and departed in the 18th over with more than 50 still required.
Apart from Atapattu, only two of the eight Sri Lankan batters could enter double digits, with the lack of partnerships eventually forming the differential. Three Lankan wickets fell in the final over as the final nail, although they managed to inch past their highest-ever T20I score, another consolation in their comprehensive performance.