Women’s T20 World Cup 2023: Athapaththu half-century sinks South Africa in opener

Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu made an aesthetic half-century to guide her group to an upset three-run win in opposition to hosts South Africa within the opening match of the Women’s T20 World Cup at Newlands in Cape Town on Friday.

Athapaththu’s 68 off 50 balls enabled Sri Lanka to make 129 for 4 after they have been despatched in to bat by the host nation.

Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 Highlights: Sri Lanka stuns South Africa by 3 runs in opener

Sri Lanka restricted South Africa to 126 for 9 with correct sluggish bowling backed by good fielding.

Left-arm spin bowler Inoka Ranaweera took three key wickets and conceded solely 18 runs, whereas fellow left-armer Sugandika Kumari and off-spinner Oshadhi Ranasinghe took two wickets apiece as South Africa have been unable to place collectively any substantial partnerships. Captain Sune Luus was the top-scorer with 28.

The left-handed Athapaththu hit 12 fours and shared a second-wicket partnership of 86 with 17-year-old Vishmi Gunarathne, who made 35.

Both batters fell to good fielding off successive balls within the 18th over, stopping a late burst of scoring.

Sugandika Kumari, Inoka Ranaweera and Vishmi Gunarathne of Sri Lanka celebrate the run out of Shabnim Ismail.

Sugandika Kumari, Inoka Ranaweera and Vishmi Gunarathne of Sri Lanka rejoice the run out of Shabnim Ismail.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images

Gunarathne was run out by a direct hit by Tazmin Brits and Athapaththu fell to a diving catch within the deep by Nadine de Klerk off Marizanne Kapp.

South Africa made a brisk begin however Ranaweera bowled precisely and had main batters Kapp and Laura Wolvaardt caught in her first two overs. When Kumari had the big-hitting Chloe Tryon caught within the deep and bowled Anneke Bosch two balls later South Africa have been in serious trouble at 72 for 5.

Nilakshi Silva held three catches within the deep because the Sri Lankan fielders backed up their bowlers beautifully.

Luus was stumped off Ranaweera with 17 runs wanted off the final 9 balls and two run-outs sealed South Africa’s destiny.


Sri Lanka 129-4 in 20 overs (C Athapaththu 68, V Gunarathne 35)

South Africa 126-9 in 20 overs (S. Kumari 2-28, O. Ranasinghe 2-20, I. Ranaweera 3-18)

Result: Sri Lanka gained by 3 runs

Toss: South Africa

Source web site: sportstar.thehindu.com

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