Steve Jancetic / AAP News
The Australian Women’s Cricket continue to roll on in the side’s Birmingham campaign.
Despite producing a bludgeoning innings to guide Australia to a big Commonwealth Games win, skipper Meg Lanning was left wanting to dig a hole in the middle of Edgbaston and crawl into it.
Lanning grassed the simplest of slips catches to deny spinner Alana King a hat-trick in the nine-wicket win over Barbados on Sunday – the drop also costing the leg-spinner a first-ever T20 five-wicket haul.
“I’ll have nightmares” Lanning said of the dropped chance, which went slightly to her right chest-high.
“I wanted to dig a hole and jump in as quick as I could.
“I don’t know – I tried my best and I dropped it.
“I was just disappointed for Kingy. She was bowling so well and to let her down like that was not ideal.”
Lanning took out her frustrations on the Barbados bowlers as she hammered an unbeaten 36 off 21 deliveries, a knock which included sixes off consecutive balls in a Deandra Dottin over which went for 25 runs.
Alyssa Healy was unbeaten on 23 off 24 balls, the pair putting on an unbroken 63-run stand following the early loss of Beth Mooney to easily reel in Barbados’ total of 64 with 71 balls to spare.
“I was just keen to contribute really,” Lanning said.
“That over from Dottin I got a few loose balls to put away and I got a little bit of rhythm which was nice.”
The win guarantees Australia a place in the semi-finals ahead of Wednesday’s finals group game against Pakistan.
While Lanning and Healy were efficient, the win was set up by King – who despite the drop finished with a career-best 4-8 off four overs, while Tahlia McGrath had 3-13 off four overs.
King trapped Shakera Selman and Shamilia Connell lbw with successive deliveries with the third and fourth ball of her third over, and induced the edge from Keila Elliott with her next ball only to see Lanning spill the ball.
“That’s cricket right – no-one means to drop it or anything,” King said of the missed chance.
“It ‘s just the way the game goes, I’m happy that I can c ontribute in the way I can.”
With a number of different contributors over their opening two wins, Lanning said she was happy with how the team was building as it moved towards the pointy end of the tournament.
She also praised th e hybrid wicket being used for the Commonwealth Games as being “really nice to bat on”, though matches will revert to turf wickets for the finals.