Tue | Jul 23, 2024

Weak batting condemns WI Women to opening defeat

Published:Sunday | June 16, 2024 | 12:12 AM

West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews plays a pull during an innings of 38 against Sri Lanka at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium yesterday.
West Indies Women’s captain Hayley Matthews plays a pull during an innings of 38 against Sri Lanka at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium yesterday.

HAMBANTOTA, Sri Lanka (CMC):

WEST INDIES Women tasted their first loss to Sri Lanka Women in seven outings when they produced an anaemic batting effort to crash to a six-wicket defeat in yesterday’s opening One-Day International of the three-match series.

After mustering only 195 all out in the 48th over, after being sent in at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, the Caribbean side lacked the firepower to stall the hosts’ run chase as they got over the line at the start of the 35th over.

Harshitha Samarawickrama top-scored with 44 not out from 53 balls, expertly controlling the chase after Sri Lanka lost a cluster of wickets. Samarawickrama added 73 for the fourth wicket with Hasini Perera (43), and a further 24 in an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership with Nilakshika Silva (eight not out).

Vishmi Gunaratne struck 40 from 51 balls and opening partner and captain Chamari Athapaththu, 38 from 36 balls, the pair laying the foundation for a successful chase with a stand of 88.

Fast bowler Aaliyah Alleyne (2-22) and leg-spinner Afy Fletcher (2-31) finished with two wickets apiece.

For their part, West Indies Women were eyeing a competitive total when they cruised to 75 for one before suffering a collapse, the senior trio of Hayley Matthews (38), Stafanie Taylor (33) and Shemaine Campbelle (27) all getting starts but failing to carry on.

“[It was] not our best game but, at the same time, I think they’re still positives we can take from it,” said captain Matthews.

“I think the fact some of our top order were able to get starts shows a decent sign, and I think we were definitely set to put on a really big score early on and unfortunately, lost wickets in clumps, which I think hampered us.”

Rashada Williams (six) was an early casualty in the third over with seven runs on the board but Matthews and Campbelle came together to post 68 for the second wicket and revive their side’s fortunes.

SIX FOURS

The stylish 26 year-old Matthews struck half-dozen fours in a 53-ball knock while Campbelle, 31, counted four fours in 51 balls at the crease.

When both perished in the space of four balls in the 19th over from left-arm spinner Sugandika Kumari (3-30), several small partnerships got West Indies Women up to their eventual total.

Taylor, who faced 56 balls and counted three fours, added 33 for the fourth wicket with Chedean Nation (six), and a further 22 for the sixth wicket with Aaliyah Alleyne (14), before Karishma Ramharack (14) and Shamilia Connell (nine) put on 25 for the final wicket.

The home side dominated the chase from the outset before the right-handed Gunaratne, who struck five fours, fell to the second ball of Alleyne’s first spell, top-edging a pull to be taken by the bowler running around to short mid-on.

Alleyne then bowled Athapaththu in the 14th and, when Fletcher had Kavisha Dilhari stumped without scoring in the 17th over, Sri Lanka Women had lost three wickets for 13 runs in the space of 20 balls, to be 101 for three.

However, Perera arrived to lash seven fours in a 59-ball knock while Samarawickrama counted five fours, to end West Indies Women’s hopes of a win.