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Sri Lankan women cricketers emerge champions at qualifiers

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Sri Lankan women's team celebrating with champion trophy

Sri Lankan women’s cricketers emerged champions at the Commonwealth qualifier cricket tournament when they recorded a 22-run win over Bangladesh in their decider game played at Kinrara Oval grounds Malaysia yesterday. The back to back four wins with an unbeaten record also ensured their place to qualify for the next Commonwealth Games next July. The skipper Chamari Atapattu once again showed her all round capabilities to ensure the victory.

Sri Lanka chose to bat first and made 136 for 6 wickets in their 20 overs while Bangladesh managed to get 114 for 5 wickets. Skipper Atapattu was in fine form top scoring with 48 in 28 balls striking 6 fours and 3 sixes while Harshitha Madavi (19), Nilakshi de Silva (28) and Anushka Sanjeewani(20 not out) made useful contributions to build up the innings.

Bangladesh chasing their target were 93 for 3 wickets in 15.3 overs but Sri Lankan spinners struck back to restrict them to 114 for 5 wickets in 20 overs. Murshida Khatun top scored with 36 in equal number of balls with three fours while Fargana Hoque 33 in 39 balls and Skipper Nigar Sultana 20 in 21 balls made good knocks but that was not enough to reach their target. Skipper Atapattu used her off spinners to finish with the best T-20 figures of 3 for 17 in her four overs spell while Ama Kanchana finished with 1 for 13 in 2 overs . The young Kavisha Dilhari and Sachini Nisansala went wicket less but both of them bowled good tight spells giving away 21 and 17 runs in their four over spells.

Chamari Atapattu was named player of the match for her all round performances. She was also named player of the series. Atapattu has scored 221 runs with two half centuries( 86 against Scotland, 57 against Kenya ) also took 4 wickets during this tournament to finish as the best all rounder.

Sri Lankan women’s cricket head coach Hashan Tillekaratne said the commitment of the team resulted in the success of this tournament. I am very happy with their approach. The players really worked hard for this tournament and finally they got the result to qualify for the Commonwealth Games which is scheduled to be held next July in Birmingham. Actually before this tournament our team couldn’t qualify for the world cup and they had the only option of being selected for the Commonwealth Games and this also a good test for them. All of them realized their duty and worked hard to focus on this tournament.

Before the last game against Bangladesh we had an idea to get 160 runs but finally satisfied with 136 for six wickets. Especially we couldn’t play as expected during first six overs and more dot balls put some pressure but skipper Chamari Atapattu and middle order batters were able to build up the total and our spinners bowled really well to restrict them with experienced Atapattu leading the way.

We knew the wickets got bit slow in the latter part of the game and spinners got that advantage. The coach Tillekratne also said skipper Chamari Atapattu is an asset for the Sri Lanka team and her experience playing with more franchise cricket always very important and she always give good support to the juniors to go forward.

We saw good positives during this tournament and mainly youngsters came up with good performances and that is a good sign in future. We always tried to promote the youngsters and they have shown their ability at the correct time and most important is to adjust to the match situation and put in an effort in the correct way.

The knowledge of the game always improves with match practice and seniors always back up juniors to come up added coach Tillekaratne who was a former Sri Lankan team captain having lot of experience. Especially during the tournament we saw what type of areas to develop the players They have to focus more about their fitness especially develop skills more on their fielding . We knew Global Pandemic period mainly affected and players couldn’t maintain their fitness and we have to work hard after this series. Before the Commonwealth Games we have Pakistan series and especially most important is players have good environment to play cricket and they have to adjust and get them proper training to develop their skills while focusing on their fitness added Thilekaratne.The coach also gave credit to his coaching staff and SLC for providing good support to promote women’s cricket.

Chief scores

Sri Lanka women’s 136 for 6 wickets in 20 overs Chamari Atapattu 48, Harshitha Madavi 19, Nilakshi de Silva 28, Anushka Sanjeewani 20 n.o, Nahida Akter 2/34

Bangladesh women’s 114 for 5 wickets in 20 overs Murshida Khatun 36, Fargana Hoque 33, Nigar Sultana 20,Sobana Mostasry 11n.o, Chamari Atapattu 3/17, Ama Kanchana 1/13.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022 – 01:00

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