Australia captain Meg Lanning made a superb century as the reigning champions made it two wins out of two at the women´s World Cup with a tournament-record chase to beat Sri Lanka by eight wickets at Bristol on Thursday despite a stunning hundred from Chamari Atapattu.
The Sri Lanka number three made an unbeaten 178 — the third highest individual score in a women´s one-day international — in a seemingly competitive total of 257 for nine. Atapattu´s innings featured 22 fours and six sixes.
But poor fielding and catching meant Sri Lanka´s spin-dominated attack rarely looked like defending such a score, with Lanning making 152 not out — her 11th ODI century a record for women´s matches at this level.
Lanning ended the match in style, hitting a six to bring up her 150 and seal victory for Australia with nearly six overs to spare.
It was their second dominant success of the tournament, after an opening eight-wicket win over the West Indies.
Atapattu received the player of the match award and an admiring Lanning said: “Once she got going, it was hard to stop her. We couldn´t stop her in the end, anyway. We know she likes to hit the ball hard and straight. We tried a whole lot of plans but none of that worked — a very special innings.”
Lanning added: “In the innings break, I said we need someone to get a big score. It was good that I managed to do that.”
Sri Lanka captain Inoka Ranaweera had mixed emotions, saying: “I think we need to build partnerships and play in the middle, so I am disappointed. I am proud of Chamari, I am very happy. For our next game against England, we will look to make fewer mistakes.”