Match-winner Rachael Haynes believes Australia’s hard-fought win against Sri Lanka proves they have the character to get back on track at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020.
Hosts Australia, who were defeated by India in their Women’s T20 World Cup opener on Friday, survived a mighty Sri Lanka scare after their opponents, who had set a chase of 123, took three early wickets within four overs.
But an impressive 60 from Haynes - her third half-century in 44 T20I innings - helped build a solid partnership with captain Meg Lanning in the middle to edge a five-wicket victory.
With defeat at the hands of Sri Lanka likely to have ended their hopes of regaining their T20 title, Haynes praised her teammates - Lanning in particular - for not succumbing to nerves during the chase.
“I think today showed a little bit of our character, to be honest,” said Haynes. “World Cup tournaments aren’t easy. You have to keep winning, that’s the nature of the beast.
“It didn’t feel easy to bat out there but I was pretty fortunate that one of the best batters in the world was standing at the other end.
“Meg and I have played a lot of cricket together and we knew it was just a matter of calming things down and getting a really good partnership together.
“I’m sure there were a couple of nerves today but to be able to get over the line right at the end there will hopefully create some momentum for the rest of the tournament.”
They may have fallen just short of a maiden Group A victory but Sri Lanka once again had Chamari Athapaththu to thank for taking them to 122/6.
The captain, who scored 41 against New Zealand on Saturday, scored 50 with the bat to spark a fierce contest at the WACA - and she’s delighted her side could take Australia all the way.
“We performed very well,” she said. “We pumped up when we took three early wickets. Udeshika [Prabodani] is a top bowler in our team, but unfortunately we lost to the world champions in the last over.
“I played my natural game and I love that pressure. I always love playing the big teams under pressure.
“I still don’t think Australia have any big weaknesses but our performance shows if teams perform well against them, they can win.
“We have won a lot of hearts in this tournament and I’m really pleased with my girls.”
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