Sri Lanka keeps their hope alive as they won their first match in the tournament. A clinical bowling efforts by Sri Lankans made the win possible. Whilst it was saddening to see Bangladesh fail in all department. Three losses in 3 matches, standing at the bottom in the points table. This defeat against Lanka ensures their exit from group stages.
Electing to ball, Bangladesh restricted Chamari & co. at 97-7 in 20 overs. A few changes were seen in Sri Lankan batting line up, in order of the position batswomen were coming to bat at. Instead of captain Athapathatu, Hasini Perera opened the innings along with Y Mendis, which didn’t work as Mendis lost her wicket on the very first ball of the innings to Jahanara Alam and Perera also couldn’t capitulate on the opportunity and lost her wicket at 9. Manodara was promoted up the order and the captain herself came at 4th instead of opening. All this permutation and combination were done with a hope of getting some extra runs on the board but it was again a mediocre batting performance by Sri Lankan batswomen. Manodara (16 runs) who was hitting well with the bat lost her wicket in the form of run out due to poor communication while running between the wickets. Except for Siriwardene (31) nobody could even score 20 runs. In an attempt to hit a big shot Siriwardene, who scored 31 runs in 33 balls (2x4s 1x6s), got clean bowled on Jahanara Alam’s delivery.
Choosing to ball first and restricting Lankans at 97-7 displays an overall good bowling performance by Bangladesh but it was Jahanara Alam, who was exceptionally good with the ball today. She took 3 wickets in 4 overs, in which the 1st wicket came in on the very first ball of the innings.
Getting on to the field with ball, Lankans knew if they had to qualify, winning this match is of utmost importance. And the ball was again in the hand of most experienced bowler on the Lankan side, Prabhodhani. She gave winning hope to the team as she sent the openers, Sanjida Islam (0) and Fargana Hoque (0), back to pavilion in the very first over. With Ayasha Rahman and Nigar Sultana on strike runs were pouring in slowly until in the 7th over when captain took a spectacular catch of Rahman (11) on Ranasinghe’s delivery. And the new comer Rumana lost her wicket in the very next over, which was a brilliant catch by Lokusuriyage. After which, wickets kept falling on a quick succession. All hopes of winning for Bangladesh were drained out when Sultana (20) lost her wicket in the 15th over, which was a brilliant direct hit by Manodara.
Prabhodhani put forth a brilliant bowling effort but unfortunately couldn’t complete her spell as she injured her finger while attempting to take a catch. It was Siriwardene who contributed with both bat and ball. As she took wickets of Rumana Ahmed and Salma Khatun in her spell of 4 overs with an economy rate of 2.5.
Defending a below 100 total is always difficult for the bowlers but a clinical performance put forward by Lankan bowlers helped them register their first win of the tournament by defeating Bangladesh.
Chamari Athapathatu, SL captain : Our boiling was really good today. A special mention to Shashikala – she is very experienced and she showed that today. The batting was really good. These conditions weren’t good for the batsmen, but I thought 120 was a good score. 97 was certainly below park but our bowlers stepped up. We change the batting order, because Shashikala and I have a lot of experience but we didn’t get a partnership going today, so that was disappointing. Udeshika Prabodhani is injured, but she will hopefully play next match. She is our wicket-taking bowler and she did really well bowling today, particularly with the new ball. it is important for us to play positive cricket against the West Indies in the next game.
Salma Khatun, Bangladesh captain : It was a bad day. The bowling was good, but the batsmen did not do well. A lot of dot balls were played by the batsmen so that was a problem. The wicked was a good wicked, Janahara was fantastic as well with the new ball. Our spinners are really good, but our batters have let us down. I am sure we are going to perform much better in the final game against RSA.
S Siriwardene, player of the match : I was advised to bat through the innings and to strike at the end. So, that was the plan and I am pleased to do it for the team. I have been performing but this was a big game, we were hungry for a win. Really glad to perform well for the team. we did change the plans a bit today but it didn’t work. Chamari was looking in good touch but couldn’t convert. I am sure she will get going in the coming games. Yes, I am enjoying my game after leaving captaincy and the pressure is now on Chamari. We are mindful of the challenge ahead and looking forward to the same.
Sri Lanka won by 25 runs
Sri Lanka 97-7 in 20 overs ( Siriwardene 31 runs, Manodara 16 runs, Nilakshi de Silva 12 runs; Jahanara Alam 3/21)
Bangladesh 72-10 in 20 overs (Nigar Sultana 20 runs, Ritu Moni 11 runs, Ayasha Rahman 11 runs; Siriwardene 2/10)