Athapaththu half-century sinks South Africa in T20 World Cup opener

Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu plays a shot as South Africa’s Sinalo Jafta stays during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup group A match between South Africa and Sri Lanka at the Newlands Stadium on February 10, 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. | Image Credit: Getty Images

Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu produced a classy half-century to lead her team to an upset three-run win over hosts South Africa in the opening match of the Women’s T20 World Cup at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday.

Athapaththu’s 68 off 50 balls allowed Sri Lanka to make 129 for four after being sent into bat by the host nation.

Sri Lanka restricted South Africa to 126 for nine with accurate slow bowling backed by excellent fielding.

Left-arm spin bowler Inoka Ranaweera took three key wickets and conceded just 18 runs, while fellow left-armer Sugandika Kumari and off-spinner Oshadhi Ranasinghe took two wickets each as they did not South Africa has been able to put together any major partnership. Captain Sune Luus was the top-scorer with 28.

The left-handed Athapaththu hit 12 fours and shared a second-wicket partnership of 86 with 17-year-old Vishmi Gunarathne, who made 35.

Both batters fell to good delivery in successive balls in the 18th over, preventing a late burst of scoring.

Gunarathne was run out by a direct hit by Tazmin Brits and Athapaththu fell to a diving catch in the deep by Nadine de Klerk off Marizanne Kapp.

South Africa started quickly but Ranaweera bowled accurately and caught leading batters Kapp and Laura Wolvaardt in her first two overs. When Kumari got the hard-hitting Chloe Tryon in the deep and Anneke Bosch was bowled, two balls later South Africa were in deep trouble at 72 for five.

Nilakshi Silva took three catches in the deep as the Sri Lankan fielders backed up their bowlers well.

Luus stumped Ranaweera with 17 runs needed off the last nine balls and two run-outs sealed South Africa’s fate.

Short marks:

Sri Lanka 129-4 in 20 overs (C Athapaththu 68, V Gunarathne 35)

South Africa 126-9 in 20 overs (S. Kumari 2-28, O. Ranasinghe 2-20, I. Ranaweera 3-18)

Result: Sri Lanka won by 3 runs

Throw: South Africa

Alok Kumar

Alok Kumar is Content Writer for Sports section on Contact: [email protected]

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button