Spinners propel Sri Lanka women to T2OI win over Windies after 9 years

Hambantota, Jun 24 (IANS): A career-best bowling performance from Chamari Athapaththu and an incisive spell from offspinner Inoshi Priyadharshani set up Sri Lanka's first win over West Indies in women's T20Is since 2015 in the first T20I match at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Athapaththu and Priyadharshani shared seven wickets, with the former finishing with 4 for 29, to restrict West Indies to 134 for 8. In reply, Sri Lanka romped home with four wickets and eight balls to spare to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

Hayley Matthews managed to see the early back of Athapaththu in the third over. However, Vishmi Gunaratne and Harshitha Samarawickrama did not let Sri Lanka feel the nerve. They batted positively in stitching a 46-run stand for the second wicket with Gunaratne being the aggressor. She hit six fours in her 35-run knock, that included the reverse sweep as well.

In a bid to attack legspinner Afy Fletcher, Gunaratne holed out to long-on, giving the tourists a slight opening. Samarawickrama then took charge even as Kavisha Dilhari was trapped in front by Karishma Ramharack. She used her feet to put the spinners off their lines and lengths and scored 35. But after she was cleaned up by Aaliyah Alleyne, Sri Lanka lost 3 for 20 to raise hopes for West Indies, who lost the ODI series 3-0. The experienced Nilakshika Silva then took the hosts home, staying unbeaten on 17.

Earlier, West Indies received an injury scare for Stafanie Taylor after being asked to bat. She injured her leg while returning to her crease in the third over and had to be stretchered off, but then returned after the fall of the first wicket in the seventh over - when Athapaththu bowled Qiana Joseph.

The Sri Lankan spinners, led by Priyadharshani, kept a lid on West Indies' scoring throughout, highlighted by Matthews' run-a-ball 30 being the top-score for them.

Thanks to an enterprising 33-run partnership between Alleyne (26 off 22) and Fletcher (14 not out off 11) in just 23 balls, West Indies were able to score 35 runs off the last four overs to finish with a decent score.

Brief Scores: West Indies 134 for 8 in 20 overs (Hayley Matthews 30, Aaliyah Alleyne 16; Chamarti Athapaththu 4-29, Inoshi Priyadharshani 3-28) lost to Sri Lanka 137 for 6 in 18.4 overs (Vishmi Gunaratne 35, Harshita Samarawickrama 35; Afy Fletcher 2-29, Aaliyah Alleyne 1-14) by four wickets.



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Title: Spinners propel Sri Lanka women to T2OI win over Windies after 9 years

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