Weerakkody Guides Sri Lanka To Victory
Sri Lanka Women 167-8 (Weerakkody 54no) beat
South Africa Women 164 by two wickets
Women's World Cup warm-up, Mumbai
Sripali Weerakkody scored an unbeaten half-century to guide Sri Lanka Women to a fine two-wicket win over South Africa Women in their final warm-up match ahead of the Women's World Cup.
Set 165 after South Africa were dismissed for 164, Sri Lanka were struggling at 66 for six before Weerakkody's innings handed Sri Lanka a rare victory.
When the two sides met in a One-Day International in Fatullah in 2011, Sri Lanka won in similar circumstances, batting second to get home by three wickets with two balls to spare. In this game, they lost one more wicket but reached their target with more than five overs to spare.
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Weerakkody played her part with the ball as well, taking an early wicket as three from Eshani Kaushalya and one from Shashikala Siriwardene reduced South Africa to 59 for six.
But for captain Mignon du Preez's battling effort of 59 in 84 balls, Sri Lanka's task with the bat would have far easier. Du Preez was given support by Dane van Niekerk, who made 46 to haul South Africa up to a competitive total, Kaushalya finishing with three for 29 and Weerakkody two for 19.
Sri Lanka also made a stuttering start and after 22.1 overs were in a very similar position to the one South Africa had been in as the scoreboard read 66 for six.
Kaushalya and Weerakkody, the bowlers who had done much of the damage earlier, then put on 40 for the seventh wicket to keep Sri Lanka in the game, Kaushalya falling for 22.
Then Weerakkody had to take centre stage, hitting seven fours to ensure the dismissal of Chamini Seneviratne (12) hardly hampered them.
She finished unbeaten on 54 in 65 balls - nearly twice as many as she has ever scored in an ODI (although this was not a full ODI) - alongside wicket-keeper Dilani Manodara on 10.
Sri Lanka meet reigning champions England in their first match of the tournament on Friday (1st February) when South Africa take on 2009 runners-up and 2000 champions New Zealand.
© Cricket World 2013
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