Windies outmuscle Sri Lanka to make semis

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The contrast in the batting approach and abilities of the two teams was quite blatant from the very beginning, carried on through the powerplay overs – WI’s 72/0 to SL’s 33/2 – and went all the way to the end, by when the defending champions had an 83-run victory that confirmed their qualification for the semifinal of the Women’s World T20 at home.

Windies captain Stafanie Taylor’s simple summary of “We did come to the party today”, doesn’t begin to explain the absolute devastation that her openers – Hayley Matthews and Deandra Dottin – caused at the top of order. They whacked 8, 8, 13, 16, 13, 14 runs in the first six overs to put Sri Lanka under early pressure.

The relaxation of the fielding restrictions brought slight respite, as Windies scored just 26 off the next 24 deliveries. In this period, Matthews brought up her fourth T20I fifty off just half the number of deliveries and eventually fell in the 10th over for a 36-ball 62. Dottin soon exited – agonisingly one-run short of what would’ve been a brilliant half-century – but Taylor ensured the rollicking start provided by the top two didn’t get wasted.

Following the first-wicket stand of 94, there weren’t any to write home about, but Taylor’s 25-ball 41 drove Windies to 187 for 5. Windies’ explosive essay included 21 fours and six sixes, and needed Sri Lanka to bat out of their skins to keep their campaign going.

Sri Lanka, though, didn’t even come close. The pressure of having to score from the outset wasn’t handled too well, as only three batters – including the two openers – managed double-digit scores. Chamari Athapaththu was one of those, with a 35-ball 44, but that wasn’t even remotely close to the sort of singular effort that would’ve helped them carry out a successful riposte.

The other two double-digit scores were 10 and 11 by opener Hasini Perera and No.6 batter Nilakshi de Silva respectively, as rest of the line-up just crumbled around them.

Matthews followed up her batting heroics with a three-wicket haul to dismantle the Sri Lankan middle-order and swat them away in what eventually turned out to be a complete no-contest. Sri Lanka limped past the 100-run mark – a mere consolation in this format of the game – and folded shortly thereafter to rubber-stamp the semifinal line-up – Windies, England, Australia and India.

Brief Scores: Windies 187/5 in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 62, Deandra Dottin 49, Stafanie Taylor 41; Oshadi Ranasinghe 1-21) beat Sri Lanka 104 in 17.4 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 44; Hayley Matthews 3-16) by 83 runs

(Courtesy Cricbuzz)

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