The Indian women’s cricket team crushed Sri Lanka by 71 runs in a must-win Group B match to qualify for the semifinals of the Women’s World Twenty20 in Basseterre.
With a victory apiece against Pakistan and a defeat to New Zealand, both the sides went into the match with a semifinal place at stake, but the Indian eves produced a clinical all-round display to knock the islanders out of the tournament.
Off-spinner Diana David (4/12) wreaked havoc with the ball to restrict Sri Lanka to 73 for nine after India rode on twin half-centuries from opener Sulakshana Naik (59 off 54) and Mithali Raj (52 not out off 39) to post a commanding 144 for three in their allotted 20 overs.
Defending the total, Diana mowed down the Lankan top order to restrict them well ahead of the 100-run mark with just two batters — Deepika Rasangika (31 not out) and Eshani Kaushalya (10) — managing double-digit scores.
Naik was adjudged player of the match. Electing to bat, Indian innings began on a positive note and even though Poonam Raut (12) fell cheaply, the 86 runs
added in 10.3 overs by the second wicket partnership of Sulakshana and Mithali laid the perfect foundation for a big total.
Even after Sulakshana departed, Mithali continued milking runs with consummate ease to guide the side past the 140-mark. Sri Lanka’s chase got off to a poor start with Chamari Atapattu running herself out.
Diana’s early introduction into the attack proved devastating for the Lankans as she struck with her first ball, castling Suwini de Alwis (4) before picking up a second in the same over as Dedunu Silva was caught by Goswami.
David then had Chamari Polgampola and Sripali Weerakkodi in consecutive deliveries to register her four wickets and spell the doom for Sri Lanka.
Brief scores: India: 144 for 3 in 20 overs (S. Naik 59, M. Raj 52 not out; U. Prabodhani 1/15). Sri Lanka: 73 for 9 in 20 overs (D. Rasangika 31 not out, E. Kaushalya 10; Diana David 4/15).