Defiant 52 off 39 from Shashikala Siriwardene gives Sri Lanka win in first T20I
Shashikala Siriwardene's half-century guided Sri Lanka Women to a thrilling three-wicket win over India Women in the first Twenty20 International between the two sides at the ACA Academy Stadium in Vizianagaram on Saturday (January 25).
This was Sri Lanka’s first win on the tour after being whitewashed in the three-match One-Day International series.
After India finished its 20 overs on 147 for 3 thanks to Mithali Raj's 67, Sri Lanka chased down the target with one ball to spare, finishing at 148 for 7.
Put in to bat, India's openers got off to a lightning start with Anagha Deshpande and Raj putting 71 on the board in ten overs before Deshpande was run out for 21. Raj then accelerated and put on 67 runs in just 7.1 overs with Harmanpreet Kaur to take India to 138. Oshadi Ranasinghe struck twice in the same over, first ending Raj's 47-ball innings and then picking up Jhulan Goswami’s wicket three balls later.
Kaur remained unbeaten on 40 off 29 balls as India managed to score just nine runs after Raj's wicket.
When Sri Lanka batted, Soniya Dabir struck in the fifth over, dismissing Lasanthi Madushani for 15 after Sri Lanka's openers got off to a steady start. Rajeshwari Gayakwad struck in the next over sending back the in-form Yasoda Mendis.
Siriwardene and Ranasinghe then shared a 37-run stand for the fourth wicket before Gayakwad picked up her second wicket, dismissing Ranasinghe for 19.
Siriwardene marched on despite wickets falling at the other end. With Sri Lanka struggling at 94 for 6, Siriwardene had an important stand of 45 runs with Chamari Kumarihami for the seventh wicket, before her defiant knock of 52 off 39 came to an end when Gayakwad took a return catch to pick up her third wicket.
Kumarihami, however, remained unbeaten on 19 as she guided Sri Lanka to the win.
The second T20I will be played on Sunday at the same venue.