A first-ever century stand in T20Is for Sri Lanka was the highlight of the evening as they picked up their second successive victory in the Women’s T20 World Cup. Having stunned hosts South Africa in the opening game, Sri Lanka overcame a slight stutter to register a seven-wicket win at Newlands against Bangladesh on Sunday (February 12).
Chasing 127, Sri Lanka lost their talismanic skipper Chamari Athapaththu even though she picked up three boundaries and looked in good nick once again. Marufa Akter, who dismissed Chamari, managed to then dismiss Vishmi Gunaratne and Anushka Sanjeewani off successive deliveries and at one stage had stunning figures of 2-1-2-3. Sri Lanka were in doldrums at 27/3 after the powerplay and desperately needed a partnership to redeem themselves.
Madavi released the pressure by fetching a boundary off Akter as the island nation crawled to 49/3 at the halfway mark. With plenty to do in the second half of the chase, Madavi picked up three boundaries off the next three overs to drag her side back into the contest.
When Sri Lanka needed 41 from the last five, Madavi brought up her fifty with a boundary through third man before hammering a six next ball over backward square leg to turn the momentum. Another boundary followed to make it a 17-run over and from thereon, Sri Lanka were certainly the favourites. Nilakshi de Silva, who was playing second fiddle until then, picked up her first boundary after having faced 28 balls already. The two batters eventually created history by bring up the century stand before nailing the winning runs with 10 balls to spare.
Earlier in the evening, Bangladesh went on a boundary-spree to begin proceedings despite losing an early wicket via a run out. Shamima Sultana hit a couple of boundaries in the first over and Sobhana Mostary punished Sugandika Kumari off three successive deliveries as Bangladesh raced to 27/1 after the first three overs. While Shamima consolidated Bangladesh’s position with another boundary in the following over, the joy was short-lived. Shamima fell for a 13-ball 20 and Mostary was cleaned up by Athapaththu as Bangladesh went into the halfway mark at 72/3.
From that point, Bangladesh should have easily targetted a total over 140. However, Sri Lanka fought back in the second half of the innings. Despite not losing an additional wicket, Bangladesh managed just 22 runs in a five-over period quite shockingly to move to 94/3. The two batters, who failed to get going, were both dismissed in the same over by Oshadi Ranasinghe. Bangladesh never managed to recover from this setback as the wickets kept tumbling. The boundary was not found at all in the second half of the innings until the final delivery that pushed the total to 126/8, a total that was clearly not enough.
Brief scores: Bangladesh Women 126/8 in 20 overs (Sobhana Mostary 29; Oshadi Ranasinghe 3/23) lost to Sri Lanka Women 129/3 in 18.2 overs (Harshitha Madavi 69*, Nilakshi de Silva 41*; Marufa Akter 3/23) by 7 wickets