Siriwardene sets up convincing Sri Lanka victory
March 30, 2018 04:57 pm
A fantastic bowling performance set up Sri Lanka’s series-levelling seven-wicket win over Pakistan in the second of their three Twenty20 Internationals at Colombo’s Nondescripts Cricket Club on Friday (March 30).
After opting for first strike, Pakistan were blown away by Shashikala Siriwardene, who returned magical figures of 4/9, to be bowled out for 72 in 18.4 overs. Though no Sri Lankan batter played a big knock, useful contributions from a number of them took the team over the line in 14.2 overs.
Oshadi Ranasinghe struck first for Sri Lanka, sending back Sidra Ameen (10) in the fourth over. Bismah Maroof did do her bit, scoring a 16-ball 20, but that’s when Siriwardene took charge. She sent back Nahida Khan (5) and Maroof in one over – the eighth of the innings – and then Javeria Khan in her next to leave Pakistan at 47/4.
If that was bad, it got worse when both Nida Dar and Kainat Imtiaz were run out without adding much to the score, and it was only Sana Mir’s 20-ball 13 that pushed Pakistan forward somewhat. Sugandika Kumari (2/15) chipped in with a couple of wickets and Siriwardene finished off the innings with her fourth strike.
Chasing a small target, Sri Lanka lost Chamari Athapaththu, their captain, for 13 early on, but remained on course through Anushka Sanjeewani, who had scored an excellent 61 in the first game, and Imalka Mendis. The two took the total to 34 before Mendis fell for 11, but Sanjeewani (20) and Rebecca Vandort, the wicket-keeper, took Sri Lanka to the doorstep of victory.
When Sanjeewani became the third Sri Lankan batter to fall, the target was just eight runs away, and Vandort (19*) and Siriwardene (6*) did the rest as the target was overhauled with 34 balls in hand.
The third and final game of the series will be played on Saturday at Sinhalese Sports Club.