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SL vs WI: Bowlers, Vishmi Gunaratne Help Sri Lanka Extend Dominance With A Crucial Win vs West Indies

SL vs WI: In the second ODI of the West Indies’s tour of Sri Lanka, played at the Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota on June 18, Sri Lanka emerged victorious by five wickets with 172 balls remaining.

West Indies won the toss and chose to bat first, but their innings was marred by consistent wickets and a lack of substantial partnerships. The start was tentative, and they quickly found themselves in trouble. Rashada Williams, who opened the batting, offered some resistance with a patient 24 off 62 balls, including four boundaries. Her innings was characterized by a determined effort to anchor one end as wickets tumbled around her.

The trouble began early for West Indies when Shabika Gajnabi was run out without scoring, facing just five deliveries. This early setback set the tone for the innings, putting pressure on the experienced Shemaine Campbelle, the team captain in place of Hayley Matthews. However, Campbelle could not provide the stability her team needed, falling for 9 runs off 18 balls to a delivery from Achini Kulasuriya. Her dismissal left West Indies at 16 for 2, struggling to build any momentum.

Stafanie Taylor, a key player for West Indies, also failed to make an impact. She was trapped lbw by Kulasuriya for a mere 1 run off 9 balls, deepening the crisis for the visitors. At 22 for 3, the West Indies were in desperate need of a partnership.

Chedean Nation and Chinelle Henry attempted to stabilize the innings, but their contributions were short-lived. Nation managed 12 runs off 34 balls, showing some fight before being caught by Kulasuriya off the bowling of Kavisha Dilhari. Henry, meanwhile, made a brisk 7 off 7 balls, including one boundary, but she too fell to Dilhari, caught by Silva. These quick wickets further compounded the West Indies’ woes, leaving them at 46 for 4.

Aaliyah Alleyne and Afy Fletcher then added some valuable runs down the order, providing a glimmer of hope. Alleyne hit 16 off 18 balls, striking three boundaries, while Fletcher contributed 16 off 20 balls, including two fours. Their efforts helped push the total closer to three figures, but once they were dismissed, the innings quickly unravelled. Alleyne was bowled by Chamari Athapaththu, while Fletcher was trapped lbw by Dilhari.

Zaida James managed 5 runs off 6 balls before being another victim of Athapaththu, and the tailenders offered little resistance. Karishma Ramharack remained not out on 2, but Shamilia Connell was caught and bowled by Dilhari for a duck, wrapping up the innings at a meager 92 runs in 31 overs.

The Sri Lankan bowlers were exceptional, led by Kavisha Dilhari, who claimed 4 wickets for 20 runs in her 6 overs, effectively dismantling the West Indies’ batting lineup. Achini Kulasuriya was also instrumental, taking 2 for 16 in her 7 overs, while Chamari Athapaththu chipped in with 2 for 8 from her 2 overs. Sugandika Kumari picked up one wicket, further contributing to the disciplined bowling effort that restricted the West Indies to a subpar total.

Chasing a modest target of 93, Sri Lanka had a shaky start to their innings, losing their captain Chamari Athapaththu early. Athapaththu, an aggressive and experienced player, was expected to lead from the front but was dismissed for just 1 run off 7 balls by Aaliyah Alleyne. This early breakthrough gave the West Indies a glimmer of hope.

The situation worsened for Sri Lanka when Harshitha Samarawickrama, a dependable middle-order batter, was dismissed for a duck. She faced 9 balls before being caught by Chedean Nation off the bowling of Shamilia Connell. At 21 for 2 in the 6th over, Sri Lanka’s chase seemed to be faltering.

However, opener Vishmi Gunaratne played a composed and unbeaten innings, anchoring the chase with remarkable maturity. Gunaratne scored a fluent 50 off 50 balls, including nine boundaries and a six. Her innings was a mix of solid defense and well-timed aggression, effectively neutralizing the early setbacks and putting Sri Lanka back on track.

Supporting her at the other end, Kavisha Dilhari provided crucial stability. Dilhari scored 28 off 38 balls, playing an important role in rebuilding the innings. She hit four boundaries and rotated the strike well, ensuring that the scoreboard kept ticking. The partnership between Gunaratne and Dilhari was pivotal, adding 58 runs for the third wicket and taking Sri Lanka to a commanding position.

The fall of Gunaratne, caught by Chinelle Henry off Karishma Ramharack, came at 79 for 3 in the 17th over, but by then, the result was all but certain. Dilhari fell shortly after for 28, caught again by Henry off Ramharack, and Hasini Perera was bowled by Ramharack for just 1, leaving Sri Lanka at 89 for 5.

Despite these late wickets, Nilakshika Silva and Anushka Sanjeewani ensured there were no further hiccups. Silva remained not out on 6 off 14 balls, while Sanjeewani finished on 2 off 5 balls. Their calm presence at the crease saw Sri Lanka over the line comfortably, reaching the target in 21.2 overs and sealing a five-wicket victory with 172 balls remaining.

For West Indies, Karishma Ramharack was the standout bowler, taking 2 wickets for 29 runs in her 5.2 overs. She provided some hope with her strikes, but the target was too small to defend effectively. Zaida James and Aaliyah Alleyne also picked up a wicket each, with James conceding just 12 runs in her 4 overs and Alleyne 15 runs in her 4 overs. Shamilia Connell was economical, taking 1 for 13 in her 4 overs.

Despite their efforts, the West Indies bowlers couldn’t overcome the low total set by their batters. Sri Lanka’s disciplined batting, particularly the composed innings from Gunaratne, ensured a straightforward chase and a deserved victory.

Match Summary: SL vs WI 2nd ODI

West Indies- 92 all out in 31 overs (Rashada Williams 24; Kavisha Dilhari 4/20, Achini Kalaysuriya 2/16) lost to Sri Lanka- 93/5 in 21.2 overs (Vishmi Gunaratne 50, Kavisha Dilhari 28; Karishma Ramharack 2/29) by five wickets.

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