Gloucestershire News

Tournament favourites Australia take on Sri Lanka in Bristol Thursday

TAUNTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26:  Australia batsman Nicole Bolton (r) and  Ellyse Perry celebrate victory during the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 match between Australia and West Indies at The Cooper Associates County Ground on June 26, 2017 in Taunton, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Australia and Sri Lanka face each other on Wednesday at 10:30am in Bristol. Gates open at 8:30am.

There will be eight matches played in Bristol during June & July, including three England fixtures. Click here to view the World Cup fixture list for Bristol matches

Australia launched its title defense with a convincing win over the West Indies in Taunton on Monday and captain Meg Lanning is keen to build on that against Sri Lanka in Bristol on Thursday.

Australia batter Nicole Bolton was the star of the show with a fluent unbeaten 107, helping her side to an eight-wicket victory.

Ellyse Perry also took three wickets as West Indies was bowled out for 204 and Australia will hope to replicate that near-perfect performance when it takes on Sri Lanka in its second match of the tournament.

But Lanning is not underestimating the challenge posed by Sri Lanka, despite the nine-wicket defeat by New Zealand in its opening game in Bristol on the opening day of the tournament.

Lanning said: “They definitely provide a good challenge for us, they bowled a lot of spin when we were out there in Sri Lanka itself and it will be interesting to see whether they do the same this time around.

“We know they’ve got some players in their team who are dangerous, we’re keen to keep playing well so it’s important that we start well again and put lots of pressure on them.

“We feel like if we’re the ones in control and we can get the result that we want.

“It’s going to be difficult to change a winning side but we’ll have to look at the conditions and the opposition as well and pick the best team that we can.

“Our spinners have been very successful over the past couple of years. We’re not too fussed about playing an extra spinner over a seamer but we are going to pick the team on the conditions and the opposition and what we think’s going to work better.

“It could change, it could stay the same. The good thing is our squad has got such great depth that we could bring anyone in and they’d play a role.”

Sri Lanka captain Inoka Ranaweera accepts her side was disappointing in the defeat by New Zealand and will need to improve in all departments if it is to get a result against Australia.

Ranaweera said: “We’ll need to improve everything and play really well against Australia.”

Chamari Athapaththu scored 53 against the White Ferns as Sri Lanka was bowled out for 188 and then only managed to take one wicket in reply when Chandima Gunaratne trapped Rachel Priest in front of the wickets.

And in Bristol, the skipper is hoping the team gives a far better account of itself.

Ranaweera said: “We’ll need to improve everything and play really well against Australia. That will be a very hard game for us as they are a great side.
“We hope to do our best against them and put in a good performance.

“We were very disappointed with our performance on Saturday. The New Zealand team played very well, but we were not at our best unfortunately all the way through the game.”

Squads (to be selected from):

Australia: Meg Lanning (captain), Sarah Aley, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Nicole Bolton, Ashleigh Gardner, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Belinda Vakarewa, Elyse Villani and Amanda-Jade Wellington

Sri Lanka: Inoka Ranaweera (captain), Chamari Athapaththu, Chandima Gunaratne, Nipuni Hansika, Ama Kanchana, Eshani Lokusooriya, Harshitha Madhavi, Dilani Manodara, Hasini Perera, Chamari Polgampala, Udeshika Prabodani, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Shashikala Siriwardena, Prasadani Weerakodi and Sripali Weerakkody

Umpires: Sue Redfern and Anil Chaudhry

Match referee: David Jukes

Australia v Sri Lanka stats:

  1. Australia have won all seven of their matches against Sri Lanka; including three previous encounters in the Women’s World Cup.
  2. Australia have won seven of their last eight games played in the Women’s World Cup whilst Sri Lanka have managed only one victory in their last five outings in the competition (L4).
  3. Sri Lanka lost by nine wickets in their only previous experience of playing at this venue in ODI cricket; Australia beat England by 63 runs in their only ODI appearance in Bristol.
  4. Nicole Bolton posted 107* in Australia’s opener against West Indies; she scored 113 the last time she faced Sri Lanka in an ODI (September 2016).
  5. Kristen Beams (Australia) has taken more wickets in ODIs between these sides than any other bowler; claiming 13 scalps at an average of just 5.9.