India outplay Sri Lanka to register four wicket win

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An all-round performance helped India outplay Sri Lanka by four wickets in the first of the three match ODI series played at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

Harmanpreet Kaur and Shafali Verma scored 44 and 35 respectively as the visitors chased down the target of 172 with 12 overs to spare.

Earlier, Hasini Perera’s (37) and Nilakshi de Silva’s (46) went in vain as brilliant bowling by Renuka Singh and Deepti Sharma bundled out Sri Lanka for a modest 171. Renuka and Deepti bagged three wickets each, while Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Harmanpreet Kaur, and Pooja Vastrakar scalped one each.

Chasing 172, India were 37/2 after the first 10 overs after Smriti Mandhana and Yastika Bhatia fell early. But Shafali Verma kept things ticking over alongside Harmanpreet. The Indian captain and Harleen Deol put on a crucial 62- run partnership after the fall of Shafali, racking up runs at a fast clip.

Inoka Ranaweera claimed Kaur for a well-paced 44 and picked up Deol shortly after for 34. With just 34 needed to win and four wickets remaining, the Lankan spinner claimed her fourth wicket, that of Richa Ghosh. With 12 overs remaining, Deepti Sharma and Pooja Vastrakar maintained their composure to see the innings through and give India victory.

Sri Lanka got off to a shaky start as skipper Chamari Athapaththu was sent back for just two runs. After the skipper’s wicket Sri Lanka batters struggled due to tight bowling by the Women in Blue. SL crossed the 100-run mark in over 28 for loss of five wickets.

Harshitha Samarawickrama and Nilakshi de Silva kept the scoreboard ticking with some solid strike rotation. Pooja Vastrakar provided the breakthrough dismissing Samarawickrama for a well-made 28.

Nilakshi de Silva was in red-hot form hitting the Indian bowlers all over the park, but her cameo ended when Renuka Singh dismissed her for 46 off 63. Sri Lanka’s score read 145-7 in 42 overs.

Oshadi Ranasinghe and Rashmi Silva tried to take their team to a modest total, but Singh struck again in the 44th, dismissing Oshadi Ranasinghe for eight runs. Inoka Ranaweera did not last long as she was dismissed by Vastrakar. In the very next over Sharma removed Rashmi de Silva to restrict the hosts’ inning to 171.

Brief scores:

Sri Lanka: 171 all out (Hasini Perera 37, Nilakshi de Silva 46; Renuka Singh 3-29)

India: 176-6 (Harmanpreet Kaur 44, Shafali Verma 35; Inoka Ranaweera 4-39)