Athapaththu masterclass helps Sri Lanka record highest successful run chase in WODIs

Sri Lanka Women’s tour of South Africa 2024

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Sri Lanka completed the highest successful run chase in Women’s ODIs as they registered a 6-wicket win over South Africa in the third and final ODI to draw the three-match series, 1-1.   

Sri Lanka opted to field first after winning the toss at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom. The hosts got off to a brilliant start as their opening pair Laura Wolvaardt and Lara Goodall put on a century stand for the first wicket before Kavisha Dilhari dismissed the latter for 31 runs. 

Sri Lanka managed to fight back scalping 3 quick wickets to put the hosts on a spot of bother at 124/3. But the South African skipper Wolvaardt continued her prolific form with the bat to get the hosts out of trouble, scoring a brilliant century. 

Wolvaardt went onto score unbeaten 184 runs off 147 balls with 23 fours and 4 sixes at a strike rate of 125.17 which is her highest score in ODIs and the highest individual score in Women’s ODIs for South Africa.  

Marizanne Kapp and Nadine de Klerk also chipped in with useful 30s in the latter part of the innings as South Africa posted a commanding total – 301/5 on the board. The off-spinner Dilhari was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka as she grabbed 2 wickets for 47 runs.  

In reply, Sri Lanka managed to get off to a solid start as their opening pair Chamari Athapaththu and Vishmi Gunaratne shared a 90-run stand for the first wicket. 

After the fall of Gunaratne, the visitors faced a mini collapse in the middle as they lost 4 quick wickets for 36 runs inside 5 overs. Sri Lanka were stuttering at 126/4 in the 21st over but Athapaththu was still there at the crease. 

The Sri Lankan skipper wasn’t worried about what was happening at the other end as she simply kept batting. She raced away to her 9th century in WODIs off 78 balls keeping Sri Lanka on track for a historic run chase. 

Sri Lanka’s No. 6 batter Nilakshi de Silva provided a strong support at the other end as the duo managed to put the visitors over the line with 5.3 overs to spare to share the trophy. 

Athapaththu and De Silva shared an unbeaten 179-run stand for the fifth wicket – the second highest partnership for the fifth wicket or lower in Women’s ODIs. 

Athapaththu stroked unbeaten 195 runs off 139 balls with 26 fours and 5 sixes at a strike rate of 140.28 – the highest individual score for Sri Lanka in Women’s ODIs and the third highest individual score in the World in Women’s ODIs.  

Sri Lanka who had never scored a 300 in an ODI before managed to chase down the target of 302 with ease completing the highest successful run chase in Women’s ODIs. Australia had held the record for the highest run-chase in women’s ODIs for more than a decade. In 2012, Australia chased down a target of 289 against New Zealand. 

Brief Scores 

South Africa – 301/5 (50) Laura Wolvaardt 184*, Marizanne Kapp 36, Nadine de Klerk 35, Lara Goodall 31, Kavisha Dilhari 2/47 

Sri Lanka – 305/4 (44.3) Chamari Athapaththu 195*, Nilakshika Silva 50*, Vishmi Gunaratne 26, Ayabonga Khaka 2/54 

Result – Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets