In a one-sided game against Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup 2023, White Ferns have made the tracks clear to the knockouts (only if South Africa loses against Bangladesh) by registering a commendable win by a massive margin of 102 runs. Amelia Kerr looked phenomenal with the bat as well as with the bowl as she concluded her day’s play with a majestic 66-run knock and 2 major wickets that later won her the Player of the Match.
After two straightway losses and a win in the previous game, New Zealand was up again with the skipper Sophie Devine winning the toss and opting to bat first. Sugandika Kumari walked in to start the attack for Sri Lanka. Bernadine Bezuidenhout was off the mark on the very second ball of the innings with a four.
Suzie Bates too contemplated her opening partner to score a fantastic boundary in the square leg region. Two more fence-touchers from Bezuidenhout and one each in the fifth and sixth over brought her dismissal at a tremendous 32 off just balls to conclude the powerplay at 47 for 1.
With Amelia Kerr, Bates tried to pull out some more runs after recovering from the powerplay loss of Bezuidenhout with two consecutive boundaries in the ninth over. The next three overs were just a routine rotation of strikes from both batters until Kerr stood up to bring her skills out to hammer a couple of fours in the thirteenth over.
Although Bates got dropped Nilakshi de Silva on the first ball of the fourteenth over, Kerr continued on the other end to push the run-rate higher on the stakes with two more counter-attacking fours in the following over which finally brought her maiden T20I half-century off just 40 balls to account. Bates too came up in style with a four to get on to her 44-ball fifty.
It was the third ball of the nineteenth over, a historically significant 100-run partnership took the stage with Kerr’s double where she went a step ahead to punish the next ball for a four more to celebrate the centurion stand between her and Bates. But the latter had to depart finally in the last over’s third ball at 56 off 49 followed by Kerr getting run out at 66 off 48. White Ferns were able to put a grand total of 162 for the loss of 3.
Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu and Harshitha Samarawickrama kicked off the chase with a somewhat balanced note as Harshitha was off the mark with a single and Athapaththu with a boundary on her very first ball face-off. Things looked low-key for Sri Lanka as only a few singles could make up for their powerplay overs.
And Sri Lanka saw an early blow as Samarawickrama was superseded by Eden Carson in the fourth over followed by Vishmi Gunaratne at a duck in the next over. Scenarios changed for the chase as Nilakshi de Silva too got succumbed at a duck in the last over of the powerplay thus concluding it at just 24 for the loss of 3.
Athapaththu gathered much power to cease the monotonous chase with only wickets going away in the White Ferns’ favour by hammering Hannah Rowe’s second delivery of the seventh over for a four, second of the innings. But the night was neither in favour of the Sri Lanka skipper nor her side as she had to walk back to the pavilion to meet her LBW in the eighth over.
A struggling Anushka Sanjeewani too handed her wicket away straightaway in the row as Lea Tahuhu struck hard on the fourth ball of the ninth over. With half of the line-up back into the dugout, the pressure was terrible on Kavisha Dilhari which ultimately brought her dismissal in the eleventh over at just 4 off 8 balls.
Fresh in the queue of marching back into the pavilion was Oshadi Ranasinghe as Fran Jonas bowled her down in the twelfth over and it was more darkening for the pitiful situation of Sri Lanka to lose another breakdown in the name of Sugandika Kumari as she fell short to reach the crease and save her team from packing up early.
After ages of just a wicket and a few droplets of singles, Inoka Ranaweera took much power to hit a couple of boundaries in the fifteenth over in an urge to finish the game with some dignity. But the terribly in-form Amelia Kerr bowled Malsha Shehani down in the following over. And that’s it for Sri Lanka for the tournament as Kulasuriya couldn’t come out to bat with an injured shoulder. Sri Lanka could only put up a mere 60, that too 6 runs lesser than what Kerr scored.
ICC T20 World Cup 2023: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka, Match 17 Brief Score
New Zealand 162/3 (Amelia Kerr 66; Suzie Bates 56) beat Sri Lanka 60/10 in 15.5 overs (Amelia Kerr 2-7, Lea Tahuhu 2-12) by 102 runs.