NILAKSHI DE SILVA 39-BALL 63 N.O., HARSHITHA SAMARAWICKRAMA 51 N.O. OFF 42
By Srian Obeyesekere
Thirty-three year old Nilakshi de Silva plundered 63 off only 39 balls and Harshitha Samarawickrama 51 off 42 in an unfinished 102-run fourth wicket partnership off 65 balls as Sri Lanka Women smote Bangladesh Women by 44 runs in the decisive game to clinch the 3-match T20 series 2-1 on Friday at the SSC Grounds. The Lankan lasses defended a total of 158 for 3 off 20 by a concentrated attack that put the screws on the Bangladeshis from repeating the bravado that took the previous game away from the hosts as they were checkmated to 114 for 7 off 20.
In a typical blend of the old guard and the new, Nilakshi de Silva, who debuted in 2015 with a previous best unbeaten 49, and the 24-year old Harshitha Samarawickrama, who debuted in 2018, came together with the hosts on 56 for 3 off 9.1 overs to mauling the Bangladeshi attack. After the inform Samarawickrama, coming in one drop, had got into rhythm adding 27 for the second wicket with skipper Chamari Athapaththu who scored 32 off 23 laced with 3 boundaries and 2 sixes, the right-handed de Silva infused the breathtakingly Player of the Match leathering packed with 4 over the top and an equal number to the boundary. She reached such a run thirsty pitch as to dominate the partnership where Samarawickrama’s contribution was 37. But the latter’s poise to carrying the crunch contest to the ultimate by her undefeated innings indeed put Samarawickrama in the unflinching glow of a stayer to the end tucked in 6 boundaries.
Sri Lanka Women 158/3 (20 Overs)
(Nilakshi de Silva n.o. 63, Harshitha Samarawickrama n.o. 51, Chamari Athapaththu 32, Rabeya Khan 1/20, Fahima Khatun 1/31, Nahida Akter 1/37)
Bangladeshi Women 114/7 (20 Overs)
(Nigar Sultana 31, Sobhana Mostary 30, Inoka Ranaweera 2/17, Udeshika Prabhodini 2/17, Kawya Kavindi 2/28, Sugandika Kumari 1/19)