The Sri Lanka Women’s cricket team registered a much needed victory in their 2nd game of the Women’s World Cup Qualifier against Ireland earlier today. After being hammered by front-runners India last evening, the Lankan lasses came back to register a crushing 146 run win at the NCC grounds.
Lankan skipper Inoka Ranaweera won the toss and had no hesitation in batting 1st, hoping to utilize Sri Lanka’s plethora of spin options to restrict the Irish later in the game. Openers Eshani Lokusooriya and Chamari Atapattu got off to a slow start and Lokusooriya fell in the 8th over. Atapattu fell soon after, leaving the hosts in a spot of bother on 25/2. Nipuni Hansika and wicket-keeper Prasadini Weerakkody came together to put together a partnership of 72 runs for the 3rd wicket to rebuild the Lankan innings. This proved to be the pivotal phase of the game as the Lankan batters pushed on from then on to post 239.
Apart from Chamari Polgampola and Atapattu, everyone else who came to the crease managed to make it to double figures, with veteran Dilani Manodara notching up her maiden ODI half century. Udeshika Prabodhini, Hasini Perera and Sripali Weerakkody played valuable cameos at the bottom of the order for the hosts.
Isobel Joyce was the only one to really trouble the batters, picking up 4 wickets for 39 runs.
Isobel’s twin Cecelia had no such good fortune at the top of the order for Ireland as she was 1st to go, run-out by Atapattu for 4 in just the 3rd over. Ireland were unable to recover from the bad start, as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Off-spinner Inoshi Fernando was particularly impressive, opening the bowling as she managed to pick up the crucial wickets of Mary Waldron, Kim Garth and Isobel Joyce on her way to register figures of 3/21.
There was brief resistance from Clair Shillington, who remained unbeaten on 36 at the end of the innings but she got no support from her teammates as only 2 others managed to get into double figures. Only 5 bowlers were needed by skipper Ranaweera as she, along with Weerakkody and Prabodhini picked up 5 wickets between them for 47 runs. Meg Kendal did not come into bat after sustaining an injury while fielding.
Inoshi Fernando was named Player of the Match for her performance with the ball.
Sri Lanka will next face Zimbabwe in their penultimate clash of the 1st round on Saturday at the same venue.
Thai Women 55 v India Women 59/1 (12.4/50 ov, target 56) India Women won by 9 wickets (with 224 balls remaining)
Pak Women 227 v Bdesh Wmn 160 (49.3/50 ov, target 228) Pak Women won by 67 runs
Scot Women 142 v SA Women 143/4 (33.1/50 ov, target 143) SA Women won by 6 wickets (with 101 balls remaining)