Jul 6, 3 months ago

Sharma – Inspired India Continues Unbeaten Streak with Sri Lanka Win

http://sportsinfo.lk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/19748645_1661876873831402_151260181898322624_n.jpghttp://sportsinfo.lk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/19748645_1661876873831402_151260181898322624_n.jpgSharma – Inspired India Continues Unbeaten Streak with Sri Lanka Win

Mithali Raj and Deepti Sharma’s 118-run third-wicket partnership led the way as India continued its unbeaten run at the ICC Women’s World Cup with a 16-run victory over Sri Lanka.

Captain Raj plundered four boundaries to record her 48th ODI half-century at The County Ground, Derby, as youngster Sharma excelled at the crease for her sixth.

Two back-to-back wickets saw Sri Lanka stunt its opposition’s growing total as India set a target of 233, but early wickets for Jhulan Goswami and Poonam set the tone for their chase.

A well-deserved 50 for Dilani Manodara highlighted Sri Lanka’s fightback, but India held out for its fourth win from four.

Raj said: “In the middle overs we really pulled ourselves and the dot balls pushed them to score in the end.

“Overall, our spinners did quite well. Cricket has evolved over the years because now we need to have more all-rounders, with bowlers who can bat in the slog overs and batsmen who can pick some wickets.

“I’ve always enjoyed batting and stepping up when it’s required.”

India won the toss and chose to bat, with Smriti Mandhana bringing up her 200th run of the tournament with the opening boundary knock of the match before being caught out for eight by Shashikala Siriwardena.

A disciplined Sri Lanka outfield made for tough work for the Indian batters, but Raj and Sharma steadily chipped away at the runs.

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Their century stand came after 82 minutes – India’s third of the tournament so far – and Raj clocked her half-century from 71 before Sharma was caught for 78 in the same over.

A touch of brilliance from Sri Lanka captain Inoka Ranaweera saw the left-arm spinner dispatch Raj and Goswami in successive balls.

Seamer Sripali Weerakkody then brought her wicket tally up to three as first Harmanpreet Kaur and then Veda Krishnamurthy were caught to end their 50-run partnership.

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Sri Lanka’s innings didn’t get off to the best start as Mandhana juggled a catch to see an early Hasini Perera departure.

Chamari Athapaththu added four boundaries to her tournament-leading haul as Sri Lanka settled into an attack, but she was left reeling as she swung for a Yadav ball that clattered into the stumps.

It was an uphill battle for the chasers from then on in as Nipuni Hansika followed her team’s talisman from the wicket as Sri Lanka struggled to cope with Yadav’s sublime deliveries.

Sri Lanka’s wickets continued to fall, and despite Manodara’s half-century, their slow start on the crease ultimately proved costly.

Captain Ranaweera said: “We have had good matches against India, so I’m disappointed about our performance today, but we hope to do our best in the next game. We made a lot of mistakes.

“Sripali Weerakkody bowled really well today.”

Scores in brief

India beat Sri Lanka by 16 runs at The County Ground, Derby

India 232-8 from 50 overs (Deepti Sharma 78, Mithali Raj 53; Sripali Weerakkody 3-28; Inoka Ranaweera 2-55)

Sri Lanka 216-7 from 50 overs (Dilani Manodara 61; Shashikala Siriwardena 37; Nipuni Hansika 29; Poonam 2-23; Jhulan Goswami 2-26)

Player of the match - Deepti Sharma (India)

Next matches - Sri Lanka v West Indies, The County Ground, Derby, 9 July; India v South Africa, Grace Road, 8 July

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