Sri Lanka condemn Pakistan to last spot

In the battle between two win-less teams, it was Sri Lanka who overcame Pakistan by 15 runs to finish their ICC Women’s World Cup campaign with a consolation victory. Coming into this inconsequential tie on Saturday (July 15), the teams were desperate to not finish at the bottom of the pile having lost six games each. Sri Lanka were on the backfoot right at the start though after opting to bat first.

Diana Baig managed to send both the openers back to the pavilion to leave Sri Lanka reeling at 18 for 2 after just four overs. The two batting mainstays Chamari Athapaththu and Shashikala Siriwardene steadied the ship with a 46-run stand but Pakistan struck again at the right time to get rid of both the batters in the space of five overs. With Sana Mir dismissing Prasadani Weerakkody shortly, Sri Lanka were reeling at 98 for 5 before Dilani Manodara began her rescue act.

She anchored the innings and was involved in a crucial partnership to revive the Sri Lankan innings. Manodara mixed caution with aggression and brought up her third ODI fifty to guide her side past the 200-run mark. Her 111-ball 84 helped Sri Lanka post 221 on the board, a total that looked formidable.

In reply, the Pakistan top order were back in the pavilion with just 54 runs on the board before Nain Abidi revived her side’s hopes. Her 53-run stand with Iram Javed looked to shift the momentum towards Pakistan’s favour before Sri Lanka struck thrice to claw their way back into the contest. The loss looked inevitable when Sidra Nawaz became the eighth victim with her side still needing 50 more runs.

Asmavia Iqbal struck five boundaries to cause some panic in the opposition camp but Ama Kanchana ended Pakistan’s hopes by getting rid of Baig for 12. Five balls later, skipper Inoka Ranaweera castled Sadia Yousuf for a first-ball duck to seal a narrow win.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 221/7 in 50 overs (Dilani Manodara 84, Eshani Lokusuriyage 28; Diana Baig 3-41) beat Pakistan 206 in 46.4 overs (Nain Abidi 57, Asmavia Iqbal 38*; Chandima Gunaratne 4-41, Ama Kanchana 2-31) by 15 runs.

(Courtesy Cricket Buzz)