India won a tentative game by 16 runs against Sri Lanka to mark their fourth consecutive triumph in the Women’s World Cup 2017. India, along with Australia, has now won every match they’ve played in the tournament and are perched comfortably in the points table. Unlike their last two outings, however, this was not a comfortable win for India. In a repeat of the match against Pakistan, India’s batting prodigy Smriti Mandhana was dismissed early. Punam Raut was also quick to follow and India found themselves 38 for 2 at the 10.5 over mark. It was the 118 run partnership between captain, Mithali Raj, and Deepti Sharma that steadied India’s innings in the middle overs. Crucial contributions by Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy in the late overs ensured that India put up a disappointing yet defendable total of 232 on a slow wicket.
Sri Lanka, who have gone winless in this tournament, made a valiant effort but were undone with a mistimed chase. The top order batters started out cautiously with the run rate around the 3 per over mark in the first 40 overs. Dilani Surangika played a vital 61 off 75 to stabilize the ship and see Sri Lanka through its acceleration in the later overs. However by time the last 10 overs came around, the Lankans were 5 down with a mounting run rate. Nevertheless, the match came down to the wire as India displayed some sloppiness in the field but still managed to reign their opposition back. As India now plans for the semis, some weaknesses are emerging that could prove fatal in a knockout game.
India vs Sri Lanka ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 Full Match Highlights
Deepti Sharma, buoyed by support from her skipper at the other end, played a gem of an innings, 78 off 110 balls. She arrived at the crease at a time when the openers had faltered and on a pitch that didn’t have much purchase for the batters. Apart from being a classy batter, she was quite handy with the ball picking up the critical wicket of Surangika right when she was looking to do the job for Sri Lanka.
Poonam Yadav took key wickets at the start to keep the Sri Lanka innings from settling. Impressing with her leg break and figures of 23-2 for 10 overs, she picked up the wicket of Chamari Atapattu, who was having a great tournament thus far, and Nipuni Hansika just when she was looking to settle in for a big innings.
Chamari Atapattu’s dismissal
Nipuni Hansika’s dismissal