Sri Lanka Women's captain Shashikala Siriwardena says that her team is upbeat after the win over West Indies
Sri Lanka will head into its last group game against New Zealand on Sunday (September 30) well aware that it could make it through to the semi-final of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 for the first time. Shashikala Siriwardena, the captain, believes that in itself is enough motivation for her side ahead of the must-win clash.
"The girls are fired up, we are just one win away from a possible spot in the next round," she said. "We just spoke about being positive irrespective of the result, and I'm glad it worked. I hope this win is the start of something new for women's cricket in our country. More than in a bilateral series, what you do in a World Cup counts and I'm really happy."
Sri Lanka displayed tremendous athleticism on the field. The entire side bowled and fielded like a team possessed. "We were very tense going into bowl, and it came as a surprise for us to see Arjuna Ranatunga walking up to us,” said Siriwardena. “His pep talk did the trick for us, he turned out to be our lucky charm.”
Defending 48 in eight overs, Chamari Senaviratna spun a web around the West Indies batters. Her two wickets changed the complexion of the game. She felt, however, that there wasn't much assistance from the pitch. "I wasn't getting much turn, the ball was skidding through, so I just decided to bowl accurately," she said.
"This has to be the most satisfying moment in my career. These were the best two wickets I've taken."
Merissa Aguilleira, West Indies captain, blamed a complete communication breakdown in the middle for the defeat. As many as four West Indies batters were run out. "The target was gettable, but we just panicked,” she said. “I think nerves got the better of us."
Despite the loss, West Indies is still in a good position in terms of net-run-rate, given its emphatic win over New Zealand. 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.”
Sri Lanka's win has injected fresh life into the tournament. The result means all teams in group B – Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and West Indies – have one win each with one match to play. The two semi-final berths could well be decided by a few decimal points, which means all teams will have to get the calculations right.