Women's T20 World Cup 2020: Shashikala Siriwardene stars as Sri Lanka end campaign on a high
- Shashikala Siriwardene bagged 4/16 in her farewell game as Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by 9 wickets.
Bangladesh: 91-8 (20 overs)
Sri Lanka: 92-1 (15.3 overs)
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Sri Lanka ended their Women's T20 World Cup campaign on a high by beating Bangladesh convincingly by nine wickets. The star of the show was veteran spinner Shashikala Siriwardene, who bagged figures of 4/16 on her last appearance in a Sri Lankan Jersey.
It was a deserving send-off for someone who had played cricket for 17 long years.
Chasing just 92 runs to win, Chamari Athapaththu and Hasini Perera gave Sri Lanka a really good start. Athapaththu looked at her absolute best, scoring 30 runs which included 2 fours and 2 sixes. After the fall of her wicket, Perera was joined by Anushka Sanjeewani and the duo saw Sri Lanka home safely in the 16th over.
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The former top-scored with an unbeaten 39.
Earlier, Bangladesh opted to bat first and played some poor shots at the start. Murshida Khatun tried to whack a ball way outside off stump to mid-wicket, only to sky it straight into the hands of the fielder - giving Siriwardene her first scalp of the game. Ruhana Ahmed also tried to sweep a ball which wasn't full enough and top-edged it to short fine leg.
The rash shots did not help their cause at all, and some good bowling from Siriwardene saw her picking up two more and help restrict Bangladesh to just 91-8 off their 20 overs.
Siriwardene leads the charge with the ball
Siriwardene provided the early breakthrough in the form of Murshida, getting her caught by Hasini Perera. Bangladesh never really got going after that and kept losing wickets at crucial junctures.
Nigar Sultana was the only batter who showed some fight, scoring 39 off 45 balls which included five fours.
Siriwardene came back into the attack later and cleaned up the lower order by taking the wickets of Rumana Ahmed, Ritu Moni and Fahima Khatun. She was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers and ended with figures of 4/16.
Perera, Athapaththu set up Sri Lanka's chase
Sri Lanka were provided a great start by Hasini Perera and skipper Chamari Athapaththu. Since the target was not that huge, they could afford to find the gaps and take a few singles early on.
The duo added 51 runs for the first wicket before Athapaththu was stumped off the bowling of Nahida Akter. She scored 30 off 22 balls which included 2 fours and an equal number of sixes.
However, the Sri Lankan skipper's wicket did not affect their momentum as Perera and Anushka Sanjeewani ensured that the game was over in the 16th over. Perera remained unbeaten on 39 (5 fours) while Sanjeewani remained unbeaten on 16 (18).
Sri Lanka ended their T20 World Cup Campaign on a high, and Siriwardene's figures of 4/16 won her the player of the match. These were her thoughts after the game:
I love my teammates, it's due to them that I was able to come back despite getting injured several times. Love you all. I'll keep in touch with women's cricket.
It's a long list. Started playing since I was 9 and it's not possible to take all the names. Big thanks to my father, he isn't with me. He is no more but it's due to him that I was able to be what I am. My entire career is dedicated to him.
Also thanks to my family, husband who supported me to play after marriage. Thanks to the clubs I played for. My coaches, teammates, support staff, sponsors, SL media, our fans. All the captains I played under, including current captain Chamari Athapaththu. I wish all the best to our team.Published 02 Mar 2020, 18:20 IST