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Australia women

Bowlers, Healy power Australia to record 18th ODI win in a row

Aus v SL, 3rd IWC ODI, report

Australia continued their dominant showing against Sri Lanka, defeating them by nine wickets in the third ICC Women's Championship one-day international to go past the previous women's record streak of 17 wins, set by Belinda Clark's Australian team in 1999.

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Australia's bowlers were on point once again, hunting collectively to keep Sri Lanka in check despite Chamari Athapaththu's superb century – her second on the tour, having scored one in the first T20I. Georgia Wareham and Megan Schutt picked up two wickets apiece, while Ellyse Perry, Nicola Carey and Delissa Kimmince took one each to restrict the visitors to 195/8 on Wednesday, 9 October, in Brisbane.

The target of 196 was made light work of by Alyssa Healy, who scored a blistering 112* off just 76 deliveries, evoking memories of her record 148* in the third T20I from last week.

Batting first, Sri Lanka lost Yashoda Mendis early, bowled by Perry for just 3. Harshita Madavi joined Athapaththu and the duo worked together for a steadying 55-run partnership, but a piece of fielding brilliance from wicket-keeper Healy broke the stand.

Athapaththu tried to steal a sharp single after dabbing one to the off. Healy swooped in on the ball, turned around and fired a throw to catch Madavi short at the striker's end for 24.

That run-out opened the floodgates as Anushka Sanjeewani, Shashikala Siriwardene and Nilakshi de Silva all fell for single-digit scores, leaving Sri Lanka reeling at 87/5. Ama Kanchana (17) and Oshadi Ranasinghe (17) provided Athapaththu with the support she needed to get to her ton, but were unable to score quickly against disciplined bowling.

In response, Healy forged a 159-run opening stand with Rachael Haynes, who was the only Australian wicket to fall, trapped in front by Athapaththu for 63. Captain Meg Lanning (20* off 11) then helped close out the chase in just 26.5 overs.Β 

Healy sealed the historic victory with a six over mid-wicket, her second six and 17th boundary of the innings, which were hit to every part of the field, with a slight preference for the mid-wicket region.

The win was another testament to Australia's dominance in the 50-over format. They've won all of their 18 most recent ODIs, including clean sweeps against tough oppositions such as India and England in their backyards.

The previous record streak in women's ODIs was achieved by Clark's team between 1997 and 1999. The overall record is also held by Australia, with Ricky Ponting's men winning 21 matches in a row in 2003, including every game of that year's ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in South Africa. Given how competitive they have been, there is little doubt that Lanning and co. will be hoping to get past that streak as well.

So great has Australia's dominance been that they secured qualification for the ICC Women's World Cup 2023 after the previous series against West Indies, with two rounds to go in the ICC Women's Championship, and have now stretched their lead on that points table.

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