Harshitha Samarawickrama struck a fluent half-century before the Sri Lankan spinners went to work against the Irish to secure a 2-run win in their 1st warm-up game ahead of the T20 World Cup in South Africa.
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Samarawickrama walked out to bat alongside skipper Chamari Athapaththu after Ireland skipper Lauren Delaney won the toss and put the Sri Lankans in to bat at the Stellenbosch University Grounds. The pair got off to a decent, though not electric start, putting on a steady 46 for the 1st wicket before Cara Murray picked up the big wicket of Athapaththu.
Despite Athapaththu’s dismissal, Sri Lanka kept going at a decent rate, with young Vishmi Gunaratne, who spent plenty of time out in the middle during the U19 World Cup in South Africa last month, joining Samarawickrama for a partnership of 75 in just 9.1 overs. The pair struck 11 fours between them, taking the score to 121 at the end of the 16th over before Samarawickrama retired out.
Sri Lanka could not maximize the last 4 overs, despite having wickets in hand, but would have been happy with 149 against a disciplined Irish attack.
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The Irish chase started off with a bang as the openers Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis carved 24 off the target in the 1st two overs, including 17 off Sri Lanka’s lone-pacer Achini Kulasooriya. However, the experience of Oshadi Ranasinghe brought the breakthrough for Sri Lanka as she bowled Hunter in the 3rd over and then had Orla Pendergrast caught by Athapaththu in her next.
Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Ireland managed to keep up with the required rate with odd boundary. Ranasinghe and Inoka Ranaweera were the did the job in the middle overs, picking up 3 wickets apiece and reducing the Irish to 106/7 at the end of the 15th over.
However, another expensive over from Kulasooriya which cost Sri Lanka 15 runs, saw the Irish storm back in, the game hanging in the balance with 29 needed off 24 deliveries.
Athapaththu and Ranaweera conceded 7 each in the 17th and 18th overs but Ranasinghe went for 11 in the 19th, putting Ireland firmly in pole position with 4 to win in the last over with two wickets in hand.
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Sugandika Kumari was given the task of bowling the last over and pulled off a near miracle, dismissing Murray off the 3rd delivery before running out Arlene Nora Kelly off the penultimate delivery of the game. Her over read 1 dot W dot W to give Sri Lanka the win.
Sri Lanka will face West Indies in their 2nd warm-up before the tournament on the 8th of February.
|Harshitha Samarawickrama||not out||56||46||7||0||121.74|
|Chamari Athapaththu||lbw b Cara Murray||27||23||6||0||117.39|
|Vishmi Gunaratne||c Arlene Nora Kelly b Eimear Richardson||36||34||4||0||105.88|
|Anushka Sanjeewani||not out||17||13||2||0||130.77|
|Nilakshika Silva||c Arlene Nora Kelly b Laura Delany||1||2||0||0||50.00|
|Ama Kanchana||b Laura Delany||6||2||0||1||300.00|
|Oshadi Ranasinghe||c Orla Prendergast b Laura Delany||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||6 (b 0 , lb 1 , nb 1, w 4, pen 0)|
|Total||149/5 (20 Overs, RR: 7.45)|
|Amy Hunter||b Oshadi Ranasinghe||5||6||0||0||83.33|
|Gaby Lewis||c Oshadi Ranasinghe b Inoka Ranaweera||38||24||7||0||158.33|
|Orla Prendergast||c Chamari Athapaththu b Oshadi Ranasinghe||7||6||1||0||116.67|
|Laura Delany||run out (Ama Kanchana)||21||23||2||0||91.30|
|Eimear Richardson||c Kavisha Dilhari b Inoka Ranaweera||4||5||1||0||80.00|
|Louise Little||st Anushka Sanjeewani b Oshadi Ranasinghe||11||8||2||0||137.50|
|Mary Waldron||b Kavisha Dilhari||7||9||0||0||77.78|
|Leah Paul||c Chamari Athapaththu b Inoka Ranaweera||15||13||2||0||115.38|
|Arlene Nora Kelly||run out (Sugandika Kumari)||30||17||2||2||176.47|
|Cara Murray||b Sugandika Kumari||2||7||0||0||28.57|
|Jane Maguire||not out||0||2||0||0||0.00|
|Extras||7 (b 1 , lb 2 , nb 1, w 3, pen 0)|
|Total||147/10 (19.5 Overs, RR: 7.41)|