A magnificent all-round performance saw the Sri Lankan Women’s team upset the pecking order in T20 women’s cricket during the warm-up matches being played in the Karen Roltan Oval in my ‘home-town’ of Adelaide this Tuesday 18th February. England are up there among the leading sides in this form of the game and Sri Lankan lost badly to South Africa in the warm-up on Sunday.
But Sri Lanka thumped England today Tuesday: after England won the toss and batted, they were skittled for 122 run courtesy of impetuous batting, superb fielding and erratic running between the wickets – with Sashikala Siriwardene bagging 4 kts for 22 and Chamari Atapattu getting 3 for 21.
And THEN, man o man, the lefties, Chamari Atapattu (78 n.o. in 59 balls) and Hasini Perera (29 n.o.) hammered 123 runs in 12.3 overs. Chamari’s controlled innings was effected in 50 balls and included 8 fours and 5 sixes.
It was a drubbing.
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SOME SCENES …. ROUND AND ABOUT
COMMENT from Heather Knight the England captain a few days later:
“The runners-up in the 2018 edition of the tournament, and holders of the 50-over World Cup, England suffered an eyebrow-raising 10-wicket loss in that practice match in Adelaide. Knight conceded they were blindsided by the pace of the Sri Lanka spinners and a superlative all-round performance from opposition captain Chamari Atapattu, who took 3 for 21 and made 78 not-out after England opted to bat.
“It was a good leveller, to be honest,” Knight said of the shock loss. “We were well off our best but Sri Lanka played really brilliantly. Their spinners bowled a lot quicker than we are used to. We probably didn’t adapt very quickly and then Atapattu just played a brilliant innings, and that can happen in T20 cricket.
“It’s that kind of a game; if you are not completely on it, you could bite your nails a little bit. Credit to them, they played brilliantly, but I am not too worried. We’ve had massive preparations, we’ve played really good cricket and we’ve been learning along the way as well, so it’s about how well we start [the tournament].”
The defeat to Sri Lanka came after a comfortable win over New Zealand in England’s first practice match two days prior, led by Knight’s unbeaten 45 and a three-for from Katherine Brunt. That victory hauled the team back into winning ways after an up-and-down performance in a closely contested tri-series last month saw them finish last on net run rate, with India and eventual winners Australia reaching the final.