Sri Lanka go into this tournament as the lowest ranked side and rank outsiders. In their last three tournaments, they have finished sixth, seventh and eighth, following an unexpected loss to Pakistan in the Super Six stage in 2009.
They subsequently beat Pakistan in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in 2009, and repeated the trick one year later although failed to progress – mirroring their World Cup performances.
There were high hopes ahead of hosting the Twenty20 tournament in 2012, but aside from a surprise win over West Indies in a rain-affected match, they confirmed expectations and didn’t make it through to the knockout stage.
Since the 2009 World Cup, they have a reasonable record in ODIs, having won 11 out of 23 matches – least wins of all competing nations but also least matches played - something that cannot be helping them develop and improve.
For example, they played just three matches in 2012 – all of them in the West Indies where they lost 2-1 - and aside from the World Cup qualifying matches in 2011, played only four times.
They have been handed an exceptionally difficult task in this tournament, grouped with reigning champions England, hosts India and improving West Indies. They start by playing the West Indies and need to do exactly as they did in the Twenty20 match between the two sides if they are to have any chance.
Should they beat England or India it would go down as one of the biggest upsets women’s cricket has ever seen, but if any team in that group can get to grips with conditions quickly then it will be Sri Lanka, although a loss to a Mumbai Combined XI in their opening warm-up hardly suggested great things.
However, they bounced back to beat South Africa by two wickets as Sripali Weerakkody produced a stunning all-round performance.
Shashikala Siriwardene with the ball, Yasoda Mendis and Chamani Seneviratne with the bat inspired Sri Lanka to that win over the West Indies last year and without those players – and Weerakkody - producing more in this tournament, another exit at the earliest stage looks the most likely outcome.
2012-13 form (most recent match first): LWL
29th April 2012: lost to West Indies by 45 runs
27th April: beat West Indies by one wicket
25th April: lost to West Indies by 88 runs
Previous Tournament Performances
1973, 1978, 1982, 1988, 1993: Did not compete
1997: Losing quarter-finalists
2000: 6th place
2005: 7th place
2009: 8th place
1st February v England in Mumbai
3rd February v West Indies in Mumbai
5th February v India in Mumbai
Shashikala Siriwardena (captain), Sandamali Dolawatta (vice-captain), Chamari Attapaththu, Eshani Lokusooriya, Lasanthi Madushani, Dilani Manodara, Yasoda Mendis, Udeshika Prabodani, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Inoka Ranaweera, Deepika Rasangika, Sherina Ravikumar, Chamani Senevirathne, Prasadini Weerakkody, Sripali Weerakkody.
© Cricket World 2013
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