Siriwardene Leads Sri Lanka To Series Win

Shashikala Siriwardene
Shashikala Siriwardene's unbeaten innings guided Sri Lanka over the finishing line
©International Cricket Council

Sri Lanka Women 121-4 (Siriwardene 46no) beat
India Women 117-8 (Raut 38) by six wickets
Third Twenty20 International, Visakhapatnam

Captain Shashikala Siriwardene led Sri Lanka Women to a six-wicket win over India Women in the third Twenty20 International to clinch a 2-1 series win.

Prior to the series, Sri Lanka had never beaten India in a Twenty20 International but Siriwardene guided her side past a target of 118 with an unbeaten 46.

With Mithali Raj out and Harmanpreet Kaur leading the side instead, India had earlier been restricted to 117 for eight.

Sri Lanka then scored 121 for four in 18.5 overs to win the decisive match and give themselves a huge boost ahead of the ICC Women's World Twenty20, which begins in Bangladesh in March.

India won the toss and chose to bat but were quickly in trouble as VR Vanitha (4) and Smriti Mandhana (1) fell cheaply, while Kaur (2) and Karuna Jain (1) followed them back to leave the hosts on 12 for four.

ANALYSIS - John Pennington

This is a huge series win for Sri Lanka. Coming off the back of a disappointing 3-0 loss in the ODIs, they have produced two excellent performances and were close to winning the second game as well.

Despite the pre-tour departures of Chamini Seneviratne and Sandamali Dolowatte, they have proved that, among others, in Shashikala Siriwardene and Eshani Kaushalya, they have talented players who can win them games, particularly in the shorter format.

It will leave them high on confidence going into the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, where they must now harbour hopes of creating the same sort of impact that they did in the 50-over World Cup last year.

To India's credit, they fought back through Poonam Raut's 38, Ekta Bisht's 15 and then Jhulan Goswami's blast of 37 not out in 26 deliveries that got some sort of score on the board.

For Sri Lanka, Udeshika Prabodhani and Maduri Samuddika were most impressive, taking two wickets while Eshani Kaushalya and Siriwardene picked up one apiece.

Sri Lanka also struggled in the early stages of their innings, but not to the same degree that India had.

While openers Chamari Atapattu (10) and Yasoda Mendis (1) failed, Deepika Rasangika came in and made 21 in 23 balls and Siriwardene at number four set the run chase up.

Rasangika was run out to leave the tourists on 44 for three in the ninth over, after which Siriwardene began to cut loose, hitting four fours and a six in all.

She put on 45 runs for the fourth wicket with Chamari Polgompola, who scored 16, before allying with Kaushalya, who thumped an unbeaten 24 in 10 balls to ensure the match would not go down to the final over.

She hit three sixes while Siriwardene finished unbeaten on 46 in 42 balls.

© Cricket World 2014