Chamari powers SL to a comprehensive win


Chamari Athapaththu starred with the bat as she played an unbeaten knock of 80 runs to help Sri Lanka defeat India in the third and final T20I by seven wickets at RDICS yesterday.

India posted a fighting 137-5 in their allotted 20 overs, but the Sri Lankan lasses reached the target in 17 overs.

Winning the toss and deciding to bat, India were off to a slow start. Star batter Smriti Mandhana found the going tough in scoring 22 off 21, and fell to Oshadi Ranasinghe for the second time in three games.

Sabbhineni Meghana hit three crisp fours, but found it difficult to rotate the strike against Sri Lanka’s slow bowlers. It was once again down to Harmanpreet Kaur and Rodrigues to keep India on course. The pair added 64 for the fourth wicket but consumed 56 balls, leaving India devoid of momentum heading into the death overs.

Rodrigues fell for 30 while trying to scoop Ama Kanchana over short fine leg in the 19th over. Pooja Vastrakar’s 13 off six balls helped India get closer to the 140 mark – which had proved enough in the first T20I – while Harmanpreet stayed unbeaten on 39 off 33 balls at the other end.

Defending a competitive total, Indian bowlers did not have any answer on how to stop Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu.

Sri Lanka were off to a poor start with opener Vishmi Gunarathne (5) caught at deep midwicket off the bowling of Renuka Singh. Adding salt to Sri Lanka’s wounds, Harshitha Samarawickrama (13) too fell cheaply to put some pressure on the team.   

At the fall of the second wicket, Chamari was joined by Nilakshi de Silva, and the pair added a match winning 77 runs for the third wicket.

Skipper Chamari smashed the ball all over the park for her 48 ball 80 runs which included 14 boundaries and a six.

On the other hand Nilakshi played a watchful innings for her 28 balls 30 runs until an unfortunate run out saw Nilakshi walking back to the pavilion courtesy a brilliant fielding effort from Simran Bahadur.

However, Chamari continued to dominate and made sure there were no further hiccups to take her team over the line with 18 balls to spare.

India won the T20 series 2-1.

Brief scores:

India: 138-5 (Harmanpreet Kaur 39*, Jemimah Rodrigues 33, Oshadi Ranasinghe 1-13, Inoka Ranaweera 1-31, Ama Kanchana 1-22, Sugandika Kumari 1-28)

Sri Lanka: 141-3 (Chamari Athapaththu 80*, Nilakshi de Silva 30, Renuka Singh 1-27, Radha Yadav 1-41)

By Mustaq Sydeen