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April 4, 2024
Chamari Athapththu 73, Harshitha Madavi 54 n.o. power Sri Lanka to historic 2-1 series win over South Africa in their own backyard

Sri Lanka Cricket

BILATERAL T20 SERIES

By Srian Obeyesekere

Skipper Chamari Athapaththu struck a blistering Player of the Match 73 off 46 balls powered by 5 sixes and 7 across, and Harshitha Madavi Samarawickrama an unbeaten 54 off 43 inclusive of 4 boundaries and a six as Sri Lanka swept to a historic 2-1 triumph over South Africa in a bilateral T20 series winning with five balls to spare reaching 156 for 6 wickets in overhauling their opponents 155 for 5 off 20 at Buffalo Park, East London.

The duo came together in a telling 97-run second wicket partnership in overcoming the early loss of Vishmi Gunaratne for 1 in the second over in a tremendous effort in downing the strong South African Women in their own backyard. It heralded in significant shot in the arm for women’s cricket in Sri Lanka which has in recent years braved a thin past of having had to build its cricket from next to nothing for a hitherto want of school latent talent which unlike the country’s men’s cricket progressively began to pick up only in the last three to four years following a grassroots fine-combing drive.

The Lankan captain raced to her half century off 35 balls packed with 7 boundaries and 3 sixes with Sri Lanka bringing up the 100 off 72 balls (11.6 overs) and the 150 off 109 balls (18.1 overs).

The Athapaththu-Samarawickrama run assault left the Lankan lasses with 54 to get from the last 7.2 overs was the center piece to their victory in negating the Africans 100 off 14.2 off 86. Samarawickrama gamely stayed to the end ensuring they got home for that epoch making triumph.

South African captain Laura Wolvaardt, who top scored with 56, was the Player of the Series.

Sugandika Kumari was the pick of the Lankan bowlers with 3 wickets for 24.

CHIEF SCORES:

South Africa Women 155/6 (20 Overs) RR: 7.75

(Laura Wolvaardt 56, Nadine de Klerk n.o. 44, Anneke Bosch 27, Sugandika Kumari 3/24,

Inoshi Priyadharshani 1/18, Kavisha Dilhari 1/22, Udeshika Prabodani 1/49)

Sri Lanka Women 156/6 (19.1 Overs)

(Chamari Athapaththu 73, Harshitha Samarawickrama n.o. 54, Nilakshika Silva 12, Hasini

Perera 10, Nadine de Klerk 2/25, Marizanne Kapp 1/24, Tumi Sekhukhune 1/24, Nonkululeko Mlaba 1/26, Eliz-mari Marx 1/27)

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