Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh to retain semi-final hope

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Sri Lanka sealed their first win of the 2018 Women’s World T20 with a 25-run victory over Bangladesh in St Lucia.

Both lost a wicket to the first ball of the innings but Sashikala Siriwardena’s 31 helped Sri Lanka, who had lost their last eight completed games, to 97-7.

Bangladesh saw two wickets go in the first over and were all out for 72 off the last ball, remaining without a win.

Two teams who won their first matches follow in the night game, holders West Indies against South Africa.

Having taken a wicket with the first ball of the innings during their defeat against England on Monday, Bangladesh did so again when pace bowler Jahanara Alam, who went on to claim her second three-wicket haul of the tournament and become the event’s joint leading wicket-taker, produced a magnificent delivery after her side opted to field.

Utilising the gusting winds superbly, Alam swung one behind the pads of Yasoda Mendis from outside leg stump to rattle the timbers and more swing would have accounted for Dilani Manodara lbw two balls later, but Bangladesh chose not to use their review.

Sri Lanka had some communication problems between the wickets, which led to one of the more comical run-outs of recent years, but Nilakshi de Silva and Siriwardena both hit sixes in a rapid partnership of 31.

Bangladesh won the Asia Cup in June but had failed to score more than 81 in their last five matches and were bowled out by West Indies for just 46 in the opening match, the lowest total in Women’s World T20 history.

Remarkably there was again a wicket with the first ball, the first women’s T20 international in which it has occurred in both innings, but Sanjida Islam did not review when the impact was well outside off stump and the ball not doing enough to hit the stumps in any case.

The review came at the wrong moment when left-armer Udeshika Prabodani, who later had to go off with a finger injury, struck again three balls later, a decision that was upheld.

Nigar Sultana Joty hit two of only three boundaries in the innings, top-scoring with 20, as Bangladesh succumbed to a fifth successive defeat, with Sri Lanka retaining their hopes of semi-final qualification, moving above West Indies into second place, having played two matches more.

Following the deluge of rain last weekend and the showers that interrupted England-Bangladesh, there were no problems with the conditions at the Darren Sammy Stadium and leaders England will hope that remains the case when they play South Africa on Friday, with Ireland in Group B action in Guyana against India on Thursday. (Courtesy BBC)

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