Claims to the lack of concern over Sri Lanka’s spinners notwithstanding, the Aussie women cricketers have had a huge target set for them in their round two match of the World Cup.
Number three Sri Lanka batter Chamari Athapaththu threw a 178 not out batting performance to go along with the 79 runs from the rest of the squad to bring their total to 257 runs.
The incredible display of batting seemed to go on forever, as the Aussies could not find a solution to the Athapaththu riddle. They had had Sri Lanka at 6 – 130 in the 33rd over and seemed as though they were poised to knock over the lower order easily, but the number three Sri Lankan batter was consistently finding the boundary with 22 fours and six sixes in what would prove to be her all-time record total.
Records continued to drop as Athapaththu continued tow swing the willow, including the dubious one of being the biggest total ever against Australia in an ODI. That is not the sort of record you want associated with your name anytime you are on the oval.
Other records surpassed were the highest individual total at a World Cup and the third highest in an ODI.
The Australians must now chase more runs than any other team has had to chase in a World Cup.
It would seem as though Aussie number one batter Beth Mooney’s lack of concern over the Sri Lankan spin attack was not the issue that should have most concerned Australia. She would rue those words when she dropped an easy catch.
The target might have been still higher had the Sri Lankans gave away some easy wickets by playing unnecessary shots.
Australia has a deep batting order, but they cannot afford anything other than a steady run rate from the outset if they are to avoid a monumental upset at the hands of Sri Lanka.