Sri Lanka Shock India With Last-Over Win
Sri Lanka Women 148-7 (Siriwardene 52) beat
India Women 147-3 (Raj 67) by three wickets
First Twenty20 International, Visakhapatnam
Sri Lanka Women beat India Women for the first time in a Twenty20 International with a last-over, three-wicket success in Visakhapatnam.
Mithali Raj struck 67 and Harmanpreet Kaur an unbeaten 40 as India made 148 for seven, their highest ever Twenty20 score, but it wasn't quite enough.
Captain Shashikala Siriwardene led the way for Sri Lanka with 52 in 39 balls before Chamari Pologompola's 19 not out in 16 balls saw them over the line in a tense finish.
After Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to field India were initially subdued by Udeshika Prabodhani (0-10 in three overs) and Eshani Kaushalya (0-10 in two) after Raj and Anagha Deshpande had got after Polgompola, whose only over went for 10.
Deshpande was run out by Sripali Weerakkody having made 21 in 34 balls but at the other end, Raj was finding scoring easier, cracking nine fours and two sixes.
Joined by vice-captain Kaur, they took the score from 71 for one to 138 for two before Raj, who faced 47 bals, was caught by Chamari Atapattu off Oshadi Ranasinghe, who then went on to dismiss Jhulan Goswami for one.
Kaur finished unbeaten on 40 in 29 balls with two fours and two sixes with Amita Sharma alongside her on four as India passed their previous highest score of 144, which they had also registered against Sri Lanka, back in 2010.
On that occasion, they went on to cruise to a 71-run victory but this was a very different game.
Sri Lankan openers Atapattu (21 in 20 balls) and Lasanthi Madushani (15 in 12 balls) went after India from the start and the players to come kept on playing aggressively - Sri Lanka were either going to push India close, or go down fighting.
Sonia Dabir removed the openers and after Rajeshwari Gaekwad had Yasoda Mendis caught by Kaur, the tourists were in trouble at 43 for three.
The partnership that turned the match back towards Sri Lanka was the one between Siriwardene and Ranasinghe (19 in 17 balls).
The pair took the score to 80 for four in the 12th over having repaired the damage but kept scoring quickly enough to keep their side in a strong position.
Gaekwad struck again to dismiss Ranasinghe and a double blow from Ekta Bisht which ended the involvement of Weerakkody (6) and Kaushalya (0) threw the game wide open once again.
At 94 for six, Sri Lanka needed 54 to win in 37 balls and they were relying heavily on Siriwardene. She hit five fours and a six in her innings and reached a maiden Twenty20 half-century only to fall with nine more runs required.
She was caught and bowled by Gaekwad, who marked her Twenty20 International debut with a haul of three for 24 but would, despite that key wicket, end up on the losing side.
Polgompola had already added 45 with Siriwardene for the seventh wicket but now it fell to her, along with wicket-keeper Anushka Sanjeewani on her debut, to finish off the game.
The pair managed it with the former hitting 19 and the latter holding her nerve to be unbeaten on three in four balls when the winning runs were hit off Sharma with one ball of the game remaining.
After being soundly beaten in all three One-Day Internationals at the start of the tour, this was a welcome first win for Sri Lanka since arriving in India and may prove to be a huge boost ahead of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in March and April in Bangladesh.
© Cricket World 2014