Athapaththu credits Team India for playing ‘really good’ cricket

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After facing a defeat in the third ODI against India, Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu credited the women in blue for playing some really good cricket.

Top knocks from captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Pooja Vastrakar, and an amazing bowling spell from Rajeshwari Gayakwad, helped India complete a clean sweep over Sri Lanka with a 39-run win here in Pallekele on Thursday.

“Our batters struggled in the middle overs. Credit to the India team, they are playing some good cricket at the moment. (On Nilakshi de Silva) She is a good batter, she consistently performs well but doesn’t get big scores,” said Athapaththu in a post-match presentation.

Meanwhile, following her side’s clean sweep over Sri Lanka, Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur said that the side wants to enjoy its cricket.

“It was a great game for all of us, we were always in the game, so very happy with this performance. We were thinking about getting singles, it was important for us to stay there and bat till the end. This was our first tour without our two senior players. This is just the beginning; we have a lot more cricket coming up. We did really well in the T20 series, we just want to enjoy our cricket,” said Kaur in a post-match presentation.

Captain Harmanpreet Kaur (75), Pooja Vastrakar (56*) and Shafali Verma (49) lead the Indian batting from the front, taking the visitors to 255/9 in their 50 overs. Spinner Inoka Ranaweera was the pick of the bowlers with 2/22. Captain Chamari Athapaththu and Rashmi Silva also took two wickets each. Sri Lanka were bundled out for just 216. Captain Chamari Athapaththu (44), Hasini Perera (39) and Nilakshi de Silva (48) played some solid knocks, though not enough for their team’s cause.

Gayakwad led the Indian bowling attack from the front with 3/36. Put to bat first by SL, India lost Smriti Mandhana for just six when the team’s score was 30. Then opener Shafali Verma and wicketkeeper-batter Yastika Bhatia put on a 59- run stand, which ended with Bhatia being dismissed for 30 by Ranaweera’s spin. Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma and Richa Ghosh fell cheaply, reducing India to 6/124. Then captain Kaur and Vastrakar stitched a 97-run stand. The duo brought up their match-saving half-centuries.