Photo Credit: ICC
Ellyse Perry believes Australia’s win over Bangladesh has served as the perfect preparation for the challenge Sri Lanka will pose in their third match of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.
The defending champions were given a thorough examination by the Lady Tigers on Tuesday but emerged unscathed to make it two wins from two.
One of the tournament’s unbeaten records is set to fall on Thursday as Perry’s side face off against Sri Lanka, who are also sitting pretty with four points in Group 1.
Perry hopes Australia can implement what they have learnt from their previous match against sub-continent opposition as they look to take their game to the next level ahead of the knockout stages.
“Bangladesh played well, particularly in terms of the way they bowled,” she said.
“I think it suited the conditions well and chasing a low total can be tricky at times.
“The way that Midge [Alyssa Healy] and Meg [Lanning] went about it was quite professional in the end but, saying that, it’s nice to have another opportunity in the same conditions against a similar attack.
“We’ve taken away some key learnings and it’s a case of making some adjustments as to how we play, especially in the batting innings.”
One player Australia will be looking to stop with the ball is Sri Lanka’s big-hitting captain Chamari Athapaththu, who is her country’s leading run scorer after the opening two matches.
Athapaththu struck a half-century the last time the two teams met at an ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and Perry was full of praise for a player she and her teammates have kept a watchful eye on.
“We have had a really great look at her, whether that’s in international fixtures or in the Women’s Big Bash League,” said Perry.
“She is a tremendously threatening player with a lot of power, a lot of energy and passion for the game as well. They are playing some really good cricket and she is looking like she is really enjoying it.”
Perry’s side won that contest in Perth three years ago but it proved to be a much closer affair than many had anticipated.
Chasing 122, Australia reached their target with just three balls to spare, an ultimately crucial win and one which proved to be a turning point on their road to glory following a loss against India in their first match of the tournament.
Despite finishing on the losing side, Athapaththu reflects fondly on that contest and believes her side can push the world’s top ranked team close once more.
“We were really good, we played good cricket,” she said, reflecting on that five-wicket defeat in 2020.
“We don’t have any pressure this time as we are the underdogs. The pressure is on Australia, so we are just going to play our natural game.
“We know Australia are one of the best teams in the world, but whoever plays the best cricket on the day will win.
“I try not to focus too much on who it is we are playing. I just try to play positive cricket and lead from the front.
“It is a crucial game for both teams and we will try our best to beat the world champions.”