Australia edge closer to semi-finals with win over Sri Lanka

February 17, 2023 5:30 am

Defending champions Australia moved within touching distance of the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-finals with a 10-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Gqeberha.

Beth Mooney hit 56 not out and Alyssa Healy added an unbeaten 54 to help the five-time winners chase down 113.

Sri Lanka had posted 112-8 with Australia’s Megan Schutt taking 4-24.

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Australia will reach the last four as group winners if they avoid defeat by South Africa in their final Group A match on Saturday.

Only a loss to South Africa combined with both the Proteas and Sri Lanka beating New Zealand in their final group matches, plus an improbable run-rate swing, will see Australia miss out on the semi-finals.

Australia’s blistering chase against Sri Lanka was a marked contrast to their stodgy second innings in their unconvincing win over Bangladesh last time out.

Mooney scored her first runs of the tournament on her way to a run-a-ball half-century.

Healy, whose 50 came off 38 deliveries, was fortunate to survive a stumping attempt in the second over, but otherwise, Australia’s opening pair gave little away.

Sri Lanka would have advanced straight to their first semi-final with a win over Australia having beaten South Africa and Bangladesh in their opening two matches.

And they got off to a fast start after being put into bat, racing to 50-1 after the first seven overs.

But once opener Harshitha Madavi was removed for 34 off 40 thanks to a stunning Grace Harris diving catch, Sri Lanka’s innings stalled with the next seven overs going for just 19 runs.

Fast bowler Schutt helped clean up the tail with four late wickets after spinners Harris (2-7) and Georgia Wareham (1-20) built pressure with economical bowling.

Sri Lanka can still reach the last four with a win over New Zealand in their final match on Sunday.