CAPTAIN'S KNOCK: Meg Lanning's unbeaten century steers Australia to a record win over Sri Lanka.
CAPTAIN'S KNOCK: Meg Lanning's unbeaten century steers Australia to a record win over Sri Lanka. TRACEY NEARMY

Lanning steals Atapattu's thunder

AUSTRALIA and Sri Lanka have played one of the most incredible matches of cricket as the Aussies chased down a record score to secure their second win at the World Cup and move back to the top of the standings.

Two players scored 64% of the total runs in the match as the No.3 bats for each nation put had massive innings.

Sri Lankan Chamari Atapattu (178 not out) and Australian captain Meg Lanning (152 not out) spearheaded their team's batting attack.

Sri Lanka set a record World Cup total of 257 - 69% of which were scored by Atapattu.

Her score, the most ever scored against Australia, the second most at World Cup and third highest ever in an ODI was her "best innings ever”, which she dedicated to her late father.

Had the Sri Lankans managed the win, it would have been another record, their first win against Australia.

But Lanning had different plans.

Coming in after the Aussies lost Beth Mooney for a duck in just the second over, Lanning partnered opener Nicole Bolton for 133-run stand, then kept it going with Ellyse Perry (39 not out) with a 119-run partnership that won the match with seven overs to spare.

Fittingly, Lanning hit the winning runs with a six, but her highest ODI score was overshadowed by Atapattu's innings.

"It was a very special innings from Atapattu and we tried all sorts of different things to slow her down and get her out, but she was too good for us today,” Lanning said.

"Some of those shots she played were incredible. It was certainly one of the great knocks.”

After Mooney was out, the Australians escaped in the next over when Nicole Bolton was dropped by keeper Prasadani Weerakkodi. It was all the Aussies needed and from there Bolton and Lanning took control.

Despite the result, there were elements of the match the Australians weren't happy with and they know they'll need a better performance in the field if they're to get their third win of the series when they play New Zealand on Sunday.

"I don't think we did as well as we would have liked in the field and with the ball. We probably weren't up to the standard that we like,” Lanning said.

"Take nothing away from Atapattu. I thought she put a lot of pressure on our bowlers and when we didn't quite execute properly she put us away.

"Certainly a lot of lessons to learn.”

The win puts the Australians back into first position. With India they are only two nations with two wins after the second round.

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