The race to fill the one remaining berth of the first-ever women’s cricket tournament in the Commonwealth Games comes to an end as Sri Lanka clinches a close decider in the last match of the Qualifiers Today. After unfortunately missing out on a World Cup opportunity after the World Cup qualifiers were called off midway in November last year due to a rise in Coronavirus cases, Sri Lanka made the best use of the opportunity, converting it into a memorable one.
The pandemic kept the team off the field in international cricket for over a year and a half since 2020 and they played only a single ODI last year as well that was the main reason, they missed the World Cup spot as it was later decided based on the rankings which they were far behind due to fewer matches. However, Chamari Athapaththu led team kept the confidence going and finished with an unbeaten run at the Commonwealth Games.
Hosted in Malaysia the week-long qualifiers saw five teams competing for the lone empty spot of the cricket tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It was all down to the wire as both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh remained unbeaten till the last match of the qualifying event. However, it was Sri Lanka who turned out to be better between the two as they defeated the World Cup qualified Bangladesh by 22 runs at the Kinrara Academy Oval.
With the toss also going their way, the Sri Lankans posted a total of 136 for 6 with Athapaththu playing a captain’s knock of 48 from just 28 deliveries smashing 6 4s and 3 6s with the strike rate of 171.42. Chasing the target, Bangladesh was once again rattled by Athapaththu but this time with the ball as she went on taking a three-wicket haul in her 4 overs spell giving 17 runs at 4.25. For her brilliant performance throughout the qualifiers, Chamari Athapaththu was adjudged as the Player of the Series. She finished the tournament with the most runs (221) while Bangladesh’s Nahida Akter had the highest wickets (10).
Sri Lanka finds a place alongside New Zealand, South Africa, and the host England in Group B for the main tournament scheduled to be held at the Edgbaston Stadium in Birmingham, England, July 29 onwards.
Check out the complete schedule below:
|29th July||Australia v India|
|29th July||Barbados v Pakistan|
|31st July||India v Pakistan|
|31st July||Australia v Barbados|
|3rd August||Australia v Pakistan|
|3rd August||Barbados v India|
|30th July||New Zealand v South Africa|
|30th July||England v Sri Lanka|
|2nd August||England v South Africa|
|2nd August||New Zealand v Sri Lanka|
|4th August||South Africa v Sri Lanka|
|4th August||England v New Zealand|
Author of the poetry book ‘The Scent of Rhythm’, I am a passionate writer and a Sports enthusiast who writes on Cricket and plays Badminton.