Galle, Sep 29: An inspired Sri Lanka created another major upset when they beat the West Indies by five runs, courtesy of the Duckworth-Lewis method, in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2012 in Galle on Friday.
But the talking point of the day was when Sri Lanka played West Indies. Rain delayed the start of play and it was no surprise to see West Indies opt to bowl. Sri Lanka was at 50 for three after 10.3 overs, with Shashikala Siriwardena unbeaten on 18, when the skies opened again. After another delay, West Indies was set a revised target of 48 from eight overs.
Once out on the field, the Sri Lanka team was a transformed unit, significantly sharper than it had been in its previous game against South Africa. Part of the reason for this was an unexpected pep talk from former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga.
"We were very tense going into bowl, and it came as a surprise for us to see Arjuna Ranatunga walking up to us. His pep talk did the trick for us, he turned out to be our lucky charm,'' said Siriwardena.
Siriwardena brought on spinners from both ends, which was met with an aggressive approach from the West Indies batters that worked in the bowlers' favour. Stafanie Taylor was run out for 3, then Deandra Dottin, the star of the previous game, was dismissed for four, Tremayne Smartt for eight, and Stacy-Ann King was run out for 12.
With 12 required off the final over, West Indies captain Merissa Aguilleira became the fourth batter to be run out, and the team finished on 42 for eight to hand Sri Lanka a thrilling win.
Reflecting on the loss, Aguilleira said: "The target was achievable, but we just panicked. I think nerves got the better of us."
Chamani Seneviratna was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2 for 4 in two overs, while Inoka Ranaweera also had two wickets. Player of the match Senaviratna was delighted with her performance, saying: "This has to be the most satisfying moment in my career. These were the best two wickets I've taken."
Despite the loss, West Indies is still in a good position, but there is still work to do according to Aguilleira. "We still have a good chance of making it through to the semis, but the batting needs to click," she said. "South Africa won't be easy. This is just a minor blip, and I hope we don't repeat the same mistakes."
Scores in Brief
At GICS, Sri Lanka beat West Indies by 5 runs (D/L method)
Sri Lanka 50-3, 10.3 overs (Shashikala Siriwardene 19, Sajeewani Inoka Galagedara 15) beat West Indies 42-8, 8 overs (Stacy-Ann King 12; Chamani Seneviratna 2-4, Shashikala Siriwardene 2-13)
Player of the Match - Chamani Seneviratna (Sri Lanka)
Australia v Pakistan (Group A), 0930-1230
Sri Lanka v West Indies (Group A), 1330-1630