Australia women qualify for World Cup

Australia have qualified for the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 after a 3-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in the ICC Women's Championship. 

Australia captain Meg Lanning has lauded her side for the way they adjusted to the conditions to become the first side to book a place at next summer's event to be held in England.

"We were hoping to win all games that we played. I thought Sri Lanka tested us at certain stages but we stuck to our guns pretty well, certainly in the last two games we set pretty high standards.

"The conditions have been difficult, I guess, from the batting perspective, very different from back home, but the last couple of games we have adjusted very well, we came with our plans and stuck to them," Lanning said.

Australia had arrived in Sri Lanka needing just one win to qualify for the World Cup. Lanning’s side achieved it in style when they wrapped up the first match in Dambulla last Tuesday by 78 runs. they then won the two Colombo ODIs by nine wickets and 137 runs.

Australia now sit pretty on 30 points from 18 games, 10 points more than their nearest rival the West Indies, who, like the remaining six sides in the competition, have played three less matches. 

England are third with 19 points, followed by New Zealand (16), South Africa (15), India (13), Pakistan (eight) and Sri Lanka (five).

The top four sides from the ICC Women’s Championship will automatically qualify for the World Cup, while the bottom four sides will get a final chance of qualification through the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in February 2017.

Lanning said the team was preparing for the different challenges in England next year.

“We are going to every game trying to improve and be better and we want to win every game. We have got a World Cup in July that we need to be ready for and play really good cricket, so it’s important we play every game the way we want to and also try on work on things to get better.

“The conditions will be different in England. The key is in being aggressive and to take the game on as much as we can. Wickets are very important in ODI cricket. I think we are in a really good spot but have areas to improve,” Lanning said.

Sri Lanka captain Chamari Atapattu said they had been hoping to do better but hoped to learn from the series.

“We are not satisfied with our performances in this series. We couldn’t complete our tasks individually and were unable to follow our plans. This is a big experience – playing a series against Australia – and we hope to learn from it.

“The Australia players applied themselves very well and came up with good individual performances. As for our team, we had some satisfaction in taking several wickets in the first match but we seemed to lose focus in the remaining matches,” Atapattu said.

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