SL vs NZ: The series between New Zealand and Sri Lanka will be a pure spectacle of skills and strategies as the two power-packed teams face each other for 3 ODI and 3 T20I games.
The very first day of the series was a little bit of disappointment for the spectators, as rain played folly, compelling the organisers to cut short the playtime. Toss was delayed due to rain and finally, with clear skies, the game was brought down to 28 overs each. A fair bit of disappointment but the two teams played with equal grit, nevertheless.
New Zealand won the toss and decided to bat first. Suzie Bates and Bernadine Bezuidenhout opened the bat for the team. While Bezuidenhout played a steady game she lost an early wicket to Sugandika Kumari’s delivery.
Melie Kerr backed Bates and the two secured the major runs for the team together. Kerr batted and secured 40 runs in all in 51 deliveries while Bates contributed 28 runs off 35 deliveries.
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What stole the show in the first inning was Sri Lanka’s agile fielding and precision. Inoka Ranaweera kept the field brilliantly. She picked two major wickets, Sophie Devine and Maddy Green, both players who played at a strike rate of 120+. Plimmer batted the final runs for the squad and led the team to a target of 170 at a loss of 5 wickets.
What seemed concerning was New Zealand’s incapability to bat and set a defendable score. 170 seemed pretty less against Sri Lanka and defending the score was in itself a challenge. The team fell short of some 30-40 runs.
With the most reliable batter on the field, Chamari Athapaththu, the opponents have less chance of defending the set targets. Athapaththu played an impressive game of 108 runs in merely 83 deliveries playing at a strike rate of 130+. She smashed the deliveries off boundaries and secured the required runs, despite the gloomy atmosphere.
Athapaththu’s score was backed by Vishmi Gunaratne, who secured a noble half-century off 83 deliveries. Gunaratne lost her wicket in the end and the game was brought to a conclusion by Athapaththu and Samarawickrama together.
Sri Lanka won the game in just 27 overs securing the set target and winning by 9 wickets. A huge victory for Sri Lanka giving them the required momentum and confidence in the beginning of the tournament.
Chamari Athapaththu was pronounced the Player of the Match.
SL vs NZ Brief Scores:
New Zealand 170/5 (28) (Melie Kerr 40 (51), Maddy Green 39 (32), Sugandika Kumari 1/28) lost against Sri Lanka 172/1 (27) (Chamari Athapathuthu 108 (83), Vishmi Gunaratne 50 (74)) by 9 wickets.