The Diamonds had already comfortably seen off both Northern Ireland and Zimbabwe over the course of the previous two days, but this was their largest margin of victory in the tournament so far as they flexed their attacking muscle, picking apart the Sri Lankan defence at will as the match progressed.
At this World Cup Australia – who fell just short of becoming the first team to score a century of goals in one game at the tournament so far – are still yet to lose a quarter, while Sri Lanka are yet to win one.
After a relatively slow start from Australia, who allowed Sri Lanka some early possession, goal shooter Caitlin Thwaites and goal attack Steph Wood – who were rested for yesterday’s win over Zimbabwe – began to take control of the game. Thwaites scored 13 times in the opening 15 minutes and Wood added another six.
Back in 1987, Australia recorded their best ever defensive record in a single World Cup fixture against Sri Lanka, conceding only three times.
Inside the opening quarter here, Sri Lanka had almost doubled that tally as they netted seven times, but the first quarter was a good marker for how the rest of the match was to pan out. Australia were by no means on top form, but eased through the game, keeping their opponents at arm’s length throughout.
Heading into the second period, Australia were keen to put the result beyond any doubt as they increased their attacking intensity and scored an impressive 27 times, conceding just eight in the process.
Australian goalkeeper Sarah Klau, who won her first cap on the opening day of the competition, did well to limit the chances that fell to Sri Lanka goal shooter Tharjini Sivalingam.
By the halfway mark, Sivalingam’s 100% record in front of the net in this game was still intact, but she had only been allowed to shoot on eight occasions.
At the other end, Australia netted 27 times to increase their lead in the game to 47-15, a 32-goal advantage.
After the interval, the Diamonds were able to cruise through to the finish line, scoring 28 times in the penultimate quarter, with attacking pairing Thwaites and Wood taking their conversion rate to an impressive 75 goals from 77 shots between them in the game as a whole.
By the final 15 minutes, Sri Lanka began to tire having been twisted and pulled all over the court by the clever and efficient interchanges and fluid movements of the Australians.
Thwaites and Wood ended the match having netted 99 from 101 – completing the entire 60-minute game on court.
Sri Lanka only had enough left in the tank to score twice as the match wound down, and Australia only further strengthened their position.
Australia join England and New Zealand as already-confirmed group winners, while Jamaica and South Africa will face-off in Group C to determine the final top-ranked side in the Preliminaries Stage One.