Sri Lankan women bowled and fielded brilliantly to beat Pakistan by 15 runs in the final round robin game of the 2017 Women’s World Cup.
Light showers moments away from the toss meant that it was a delayed start at Leicester but no overs were reduced as the rain stayed away before Sri Lankan women won the toss and decided to bat first.
Sri Lankans were reduced to 98/5 in the 27th over before Eshani Lokusuriyage joined Dilani Manodara to what proved to be the most crucial partnership of the innings which carried them to a competitive 221/7. They added 76 for the sixth wicket with Lokusuriyage(28) playing second fiddle to Manodara who looked in ominous form.
Manodara went on to make 84 off 111 balls which included nine boundaries. This was also her second half century in the Women’s World Cup as she was involved in another useful stand of 33 runs for the 7th wicket with Ama Kanchana who made an useful 21* off 18 balls.
Diana Baig was impressive with the ball for Pakistan once again as she picked up three crucial wickets while the rest of the Pakistan bowling line up bowled with a lot of discipline.
It was always going to be a tight game and the pendulum swung both ways until skipper Inoka Ranaweera cleaned up Sadia Yousuf to seal the game for the Sri Lankan ladies.
Nain Abidi hit a solid half century for Pakistan as they seemed in control for most parts of the run chase but Chamari Atapattu’s brilliance in the field to dismiss Abidi gave Sri Lanka a good chance to take control. 35 year old Chandima Gunaratne bowled her heart out and ended with career best figures of 4/41 as the Sri Lankans lifted their game when it mattered the most.
Asmavia Iqbal fought hard for Pakistan making an unbeaten 38* but it couldn’t prevent her team from going down to the energetic Sri Lankans who tasted victory for the first time in the Women’s World Cup 2017.