Sri Lanka Women v Ireland Women World T20 preview – Match 9
Sri Lanka keen to boost run-rate, while Ireland Women focus on tightening up fielding and bowling
19 March 2016 10:31
Having lost its opening Group A game of the ICC Women’s World T20 2016 against New Zealand Women, Sri Lanka Women not only has to beat Ireland Women in its second match at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Sunday (March 20), but do it with a large margin to improve its current negative net run-rate of -1.511.
Sri Lanka’s problem in its seven-wicket loss against the White Ferns was that it failed to sustain the momentum after starting positively. When Yasoda Mendis and Chamari Atapattu went about their opening partnership of 39 runs in six overs, it looked like they had a set themselves a goal of surprising New Zealand. However, once a few wickets fell to the spinners, the Sri Lankans were neither able to rotate the strike nor find the boundary. The pressure resulted in three run-outs, something Shashikala Siriwardene, the captain, acknowledged was the turning point in the game.
Her side managed only 71 for 8 in the non-Power Play overs. A score of 110 on a decent batting surface in New Delhi was always going to be tough to defend against the rampaging New Zealanders.
The game against Ireland gives Sri Lanka some space to regroup and resurrect its campaign. Considering its next opponents are the higher-ranked Australia Women and South Africa Women, this is the game where it has to find momentum and build on it if it has to make it to the semifinal.
For that to happen, one of its top-order batters has to play as many overs as possible and anchor the innings. Even the hitters have to be calculative in their approach and look for singles instead of being gung ho right from the first delivery.
The side has to be particularly cautious against Lucy O’Reilly, who was praised by Sophie Devine after New Zealand beat Ireland by 93 runs.
Ireland, on its part, is learning the tricks of the trade and the Sri Lankan spinners offer it another stern test. The side found the going tough against New Zealand, conceding three fours in the first over after being asked to field first and could not recover from there. Sloppy fielding also did not help its cause.
“We certainly didn’t do ourselves any favours with the way we bowled in the first six overs. It would have been really difficult to pull things back after that, but we didn’t even do that,” Isobel Joyce, the skipper, summed up her team’s performance. “We were never really going to chase 178. We just bowled poorly to our fields. We pride ourselves on our fielding and it was very ordinary. We got the angles wrong, not picking up the ball and not throwing it on time.”
Even in defeat, the game was a great learning experience for Ireland as it witnessed Suzie Bates and Devine put on 104 runs in 75 balls, of which scoring shots were played in 48 deliveries. The best part of that partnership was how the duo manoeuvred the gaps in the field.
“We expected them to go for big shots, but they didn’t do that and came up with a plan. They are both quick between the wickets and very professional in their approach,” said Joyce of the lessons learnt. “We have to pick up the parts and figure out how we can come back. Thinking about [the loss] doesn’t help. With the bat, we need to be a bit more inventive. We have got to figure out how to score more runs.”
The team would be hoping that the highly talented Cath Dalton, who made only 1 against New Zealand but scored an attractive 37 against India Women in the warm-up game in Bangalore, comes to the party in this game. The 23-year-old Dalton, who plays for Middlesex Women, has just two T20Is under her belt, but has already made headlines in men’s cricket by scoring an even 100 for Halstead Cricket Club against Felixstowe in England last year.
Sri Lanka Women: Shashikala Siriwardene (capt), Chamari Atapattu, Nilakshi de Silva, Nipuni Hansika, Ama Kanchana, Hansima Karunaratne, Eshani Lokusuriyage, Sugandika Kumari, Yasoda Mendis, Harshitha Madavi, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Udeshika Prabodhani, Dilani Manodara (wk), Inoka Ranaweera, Prasadani Weerakkody.
Ireland Women: Isobel Joyce (capt), Clare Shillington, Mary Waldron (wk), Lucy O’Reilly, Kate McKenna, Ciara Metcalfe, Robyn Lewis, Gaby Lewis, Kim Grath, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Jennifer Gray, Laura Delany, Cath Dalton, Cecelia Joyce.