Vishmi Gunaratne and Dewmi Vihanga both hit half centuries, but Sri Lanka suffered a narrow, 10-run loss to Bangladesh in their 2nd game of the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 in Benoni.
Skipper Gunaratne won the toss and elected to field first but soon came to regret the decision as Bangladesh got off to a flier. The Tigresses, who registered an incredible win versus Australia in their tournament opener, got to a roaring start, with Afia Prottasha leading the way. The openers soared to 75 off 11 overs before 15-year-old medium pacer Rashmi Nethranjali finally got Sri Lanka the breakthrough they needed, bowling Prottasha for 53 off 43 deliveries.
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Misty Shaha was run-out soon after but the Bangladeshis just kept going, the two Akters, Dilara and Shorna putting on 86 off 51 deliveries. Shorna, the star with the bat against Australia got to a much-deserved half century of 28 deliveries, while Dilara finished with 36 off 27.
The Sri Lankan spinners, who have shown the way throughout their time in South Africa so far, were ineffective in the face of the onslaught, conceding 94 off 12 overs for no wickets.
A target of 166 was always going to be challenging for Sri Lanka, whose batting performance had hovered around the 100-120 run mark during their fixtures ahead of the tournament. The target got that much more challenging with the openers contributing just 3 to the chase, but 17-year-old Gunaratne and Vihanga did not give up the fight, striking at higher than a run a ball to get Sri Lanka close.
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In fact, the stiff target seemed just the thing Sri Lanka needed to bring out the aggressive intent, with the pair hitting a combined 15 fours and 3 sixes in their partnership of 96 in 12.4 overs. Gunaratne, who caught the eye when she became the youngest centurion in Women’s domestic cricket in Sri Lanka in 2021, struck 60 off 54, while Vihanga made 55 off 44.
Sri Lanka needed 38 off the last two, but ultimately fell 10 runs short, despite Dulanga Dissanayake hitting 3 boundaries to finish the innings.
Sri Lanka will next face Australia in their final 1st Round game, on the 18th of January, at the same venue.
|Afia Prottasha||b Rashmi Nethranjali||53||43||5||3||123.26|
|Misty Shaha||run out (Vishmi Gunarathne)||14||24||0||0||58.33|
|Dilara Akter||not out||36||27||3||1||133.33|
|Shorna Akter||not out||50||28||3||2||178.57|
|Extras||12 (b 0 , lb 0 , nb 2, w 10, pen 0)|
|Total||165/2 (20 Overs, RR: 8.25)|
|Nethmi Senarathna||c Rabeya Khan b Marufa Akter||0||4||0||0||0.00|
|Sumudu Nisansala||b Disha Biswas||3||8||0||0||37.50|
|Vishmi Gunarathne||not out||60||54||8||1||111.11|
|Dewmi Vihanga||lbw b Marufa Akter||55||44||7||2||125.00|
|Manudi Nanayakkara||run out (Disha Biswas)||4||7||0||0||57.14|
|Extras||21 (b 10 , lb 4 , nb 0, w 7, pen 0)|
|Total||155/4 (20 Overs, RR: 7.75)|
|Reya Akter Shika||3||0||34||0||11.33|