Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Atapattu bludgeoned her way to the country’s 1st ton in Women’s T20Is as Sri Lanka took on Australia in Sydney. Unfortunately, her 113 went in vain, as the hosts eventually won the game by 41 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series.
The Sri Lanka Women’s team got their tour of Australia off to the perfect start…
Things were not looking good for the Lankans at the halfway mark of the game, with Aussie batters having posted 217/4 in their innings, thanks to a century from opener Beth Mooney. But Atapattu, who memorably smashed 178 not out against the Aussies the last time the sides met (Women’s World Cup 2017), took it upon herself to get the job done for the visitors.
One woman alone was never going to get Sri Lanka to the target however, and as is often the case, Atapattu got little support from the other end as Australia kept picking up wickets regularly. Her brilliant 113 was made up of 12 fours and 6 sixes, peppering the leg-side boundary much to the delight of the smattering of Sri Lankan supporters in the crowd.
Interestingly, the Sri Lankan management decided to hold back Shashikala Siriwardene and Harshitha Samarawickrama, who had shown some form with the bat in the warmup game batting up the order.
Sri Lanka looked well out of their depth with the ball however, as the Australian openers got off to a flier. Mooney played second fiddle to the aggressive Alyssa Healy early on, before she got going later on in the innings alongside Ashley Gardner. While Atapattu’s ton saw her clear the boundary (and even hit the roof of a stand), Mooney’s innings was all about caressing the ball through the gaps – her 113 included 20 fours. Skipper Meg Lanning was the only Australian to miss out, trapped LBW for 1 by off spinner Oshadi Ranasinghe.
The intent shown by the Sri Lankans with the bat will be encouraging and they will look to build on it as they come back to the same venue for the 2nd T20I tomorrow.