Kanchana shines but Sri Lanka go down to England


Ama Kanchana made 34 valuable runs at the death for Sri Lanka and then picked up both English openers Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield but could not prevent Sri Lanka from going down to England by 7 wickets in today’s Women’s World Cup game in Taunton.

Inoka Ranaweera had the luck with the toss once again and decided to bat first in this crucial encounter. Sri Lanka’s openers Nipuni Hansika and Hasini Perera started off sedately but Perera got things over in the latter part of the first powerplay. Hansika, whose role seems to be to purely occupy the crease, just could not rotate the strike and eventually fell for 17 off 40 deliveries.

All eyes were on Chamari Atapattu after her record breaking knock of 178* on Thursday but it was not to be today as Natalie Sciver had her nick through to the keeper Sarah Taylor. Perera and Shashikala Siriwardene rebuilt the innings somewhat after the fall of Atapattu before Perera was caught behind 4 runs short of a maiden ODI half century.

Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals and looked like they would fold well short of 200 but a gutsy partnership of 45 runs for the 8th wicket between Oshadhi Ranasinghe and Ama Kanchana ensured that the visitors batted their full quota of overs and made a reasonable score. Kanchana made 34 off 36 deliveries while Ranasinghe made 26 as Sri Lanka finished with 204.

Laura Marsh, returning to England’s playing XI after missing out on the last game, was the pick of the bowlers, picking up 4/45 while Sciver chipped in with 2 wickets of her own.

Beaumont and Winfeld got the hosts off to a flier as they raced to 33 off the 1st 5 overs. Kanchana made the breakthough when she had Beaumont LBW for 12 and she struck a couple of overs later to remove Winfield. With the score on 50/2, the English were in a little bit of trouble but experienced campaigners Taylor and skipper Heather Knight took the game away from the Lankan lasses and by the time Knight was dismissed for 82 by Atapattu, the game was all but down and dusted. Taylor finished unbeaten on 74.eng bat

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