Sri Lanka registered a comprehensive 139-run upset win over India in an ICC Women’s World Cup Group A clash at Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Tuesday (February 6) to qualify for the Super Sixes of the tournament and knock India out of contention.
India was outplayed throughout the game as Sri Lanka first posted a formidable 282 for five in its allotted 50 overs and then bowled India out for 144 in 42.2 overs – Sri Lanka’s first victory over India in One-Day Internationals.
Eshani Kaushalya, Sri Lanka’s go-to lady in the recent past, was in the forefront of its victory with her all-round show. She struck six boundaries and three sixes in her unbeaten 56 from 31 balls, and then bowled an economical spell, even picking up an early wicket. Deepika Rasangika was the other big star of the Sri Lankan batting, scoring 84 off 109 balls.
283 was always going to be a big target to chase down, but India started its innings safe in the knowledge that 251 would be enough to take them past the West Indies into next round, but even that wasn’t to be.
India’s chase got off to a bad start as the top order collapsed.
Poonam Raut, the right-handed opener, was adjudged leg before off Kaushalya. Thereafter, Mithali Raj (20) tried to steady the innings but fell to Udeshika Prabodini. A partnership between Thirush Kamini and Harmanpreet Kaur, the two Indian centurions in the first two games, was India’s lone hope to guide them closer to the total. But Kaur (0) handed a comfortable catch to Chamari Athapaththu at backward point off Chamani Seneviratna.
Kaur was the third to go with the score on 38, and then half the side, including the wickets of Kamini (22) and Karuna Jain (8) went as half the side back was back in the hut with just 69 runs on the board. India was never in the chase after that, much to the dismay of the excellent turnout in the North Stand of the stadium. The only resistance was in the form of a sixth-wicket partnership of 37 runs between Reema Malhotra (38) and Jhulan Goswami (22), but with wickets falling at regular intervals and the lower middle order not rising to the occasion, India’s challenge was, in a way, over before it started.
Earlier, after opting to bat, Sri Lanka lost Athapaththu, the left-hand opening batter, early, caught at first slip by Raj to hand Goswami her 150th ODI victim. After the early damage, Sri Lanka’s turnaround must have caught Raj by surprise.
With a flurry of boundaries, Yasoda Mendis and Rasangika added 100 runs in just 117 deliveries. Both Mendis (55) and Rasangika (84) looked untroubled for most part of their association as they brought up their half-centuries in consecutive deliveries in the 23rd over.
In the next over, India finally managed a breakthrough as Gouher Sultana took a well-judged catch to get rid of Mendis off Amita Sharma’s bowling. The next few overs proved useful for India as the scoring rate dipped owing some tight bowling spells by Goswami and Ekta Bisht.
Shashikala Siriwardena, who came in at No. 3, and Rasangika put up a run-a-ball show till Rasangika mistimed a stroke to hole out to Raj off Goswami.
When Kaushalya came out to bat, Sri Lanka were 188 for three. Siriwardena and Kaushalya piled on the misery for India as they put up 58 runs in 43 balls for the fourth wicket before Siriwardena, who scored her fifth ODI half-century, fell to Malhotra’s direct hit while trying to sneak a run.
Amita and Ekta Bisht were the pick among Indian bowlers in terms of economy rates, while Goswami, true to her reputation as India’s premier strike bowler, scalped three wickets.
India now plays Pakistan in the seventh place play-off in Cuttack on Thursday (February 7), while Sri Lanka gets ready for its Super Sixes encounters.
(Courtesy: International Cricket Council)