Australia has added another feather to its start-studded cap with the women’s team taking an unassailable lead in the ICC’s ODI Championship after their 2-0 win against Sri Lanka. With their win at the Gabba, the Australia women’s team also equalled the record for the most consecutive wins.
With a crushing 110-run victory over Sri Lanka in Brisbane, Australia women won their 17th consecutive ODI going neck to neck with Belinda Clark’s Australian team. With this victory, they have equalled a 19-year-old record and will hope to break it in the third and final ODI of the three-match series.
The win also made sure that the Meg Lanning-led Australia beat bitter rivals England in the race to clinch the three-year-long ODI Championship by taking an unassailable eight-point lead over them. Australia now boasts of 32 points from the possible 34 with three more matches to go in the Championship. Second-placed England is sitting at 24 points with the same number of matches for them to go as well but they can only muster a maximum of 30 points - two less than the Kangaroos.
"I think it’s really good reward for our consistent performances over the last little bit," Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes told Cricket Australia.
"There’s been some terrific individual performances as well within that, but holistically the team has been playing really well and that’s probably been the most pleasing thing."
This will be consecutive ODI Championships for Australia as they had also swept home the previous edition of the Championship, which ended in 2016. That Championship was almost as dominant as this one as the Aussies won 18 of their 21 matches to lift the trophy.
Enroute their Championship sweep, the Aussie women swept series against some big names like India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. Expressing her excitement after equalling the historic streak of Belinda Clark, Haynes joked that she wasn’t sure if her teammates were even born then. She also expressed gratitude to those inspiring women who set the bar for her team to break back in 1999.
"I'm not sure if all our team was alive back then," Haynes added.
"That era, that generation of cricketers were so formidable and they had a lot of success as well. It really created the standard in terms of what’s expected when you play cricket in this team. If we get past that milestone it’ll be a pretty wonderful achievement, but it's not lost on us how incredible they were as well.
"They fought extremely hard, and they represented their country at a time where not only did you have to juggle full-time work and those things, but also get physically and mentally to the best of your ability. They were trailblazers and they laid a fantastic trail for us."