ATHAPATHTHU, SAMARAWICKRAMA HEROICS LEAD SRI LANKA TO HISTORIC T20I SERIES VICTORY

ATHAPATHTHU, SAMARAWICKRAMA HEROICS LEAD SRI LANKA TO HISTORIC T20I SERIES VICTORY

EAST LONDON: Chamari Athapaththu’s destructive half-century, combined with Harshitha Samarawickrama’s unbeaten fifty, propelled Sri Lanka to a momentous four-wicket victory, securing a first-ever series win over the Proteas Women in the third and final T20 International (T20I) held in East London on Wednesday.

Athapaththu blazed 12 boundaries, including seven fours and five sixes, on her way to a 46-ball 73, while Samarawickrama remained unbeaten with 54 runs off 43 deliveries (4 fours, 1 six) during Sri Lanka’s successful chase of South Africa’s total of 155/6, led by captain Laura Wolvaardt’s 56 off 47 balls (8 fours).

In the series decider, South Africa, after losing the toss, was put into bat first. Wolvaardt spearheaded their innings, guiding them to 37/0 in the fourth over. Her opening partner Tazmin Brits (7) then became the first wicket to fall in the contest off the bowling of Sungadika Kumari (3/24).

With Wolvaardt joined by all-rounder Marizanne Kapp, the duo combined to propel the Proteas to 50/1 at the end of the powerplay prior to the latter departing for eight as Udeshika Prabodhani (1/49) completed a simple caught and bowled.

Despite Wolvaardt’s resistance and a partnership with Marizanne Kapp, South Africa stumbled to 65/3 by the ninth over, losing key wickets to Sri Lankan bowlers Udeshika Prabodhani (1/49) and Kaveesha Dilhari (1/22).

Wolvaardt, eventually reaching her half-century, and Anneke Bosch (27) steadied the innings, but Sri Lanka’s bowlers continued to chip away at the Proteas’ lineup. Nadine de Klerk’s (44 off 25 balls) late onslaught propelled South Africa past 150 runs, finishing on 155/6 after 20 overs.

In their chase, Sri Lanka experienced an early hiccup as the in-form Vishmi Gunaratne (1) was dismissed with the first ball of the second over as Wolvaardt took a smart overhead catch off the bowling off Nonkululeko Mlaba (1/26).

The early wicket did little to slow down the subcontinent outfit as captain Athapaththu found her rhythm with the bat quickly to help push her team to 48/1 at the end of the field-restricted overs.

With Athapaththu at the helm, the Sri Lankans quickly advanced to 82/1 after 10 overs, with the right-hander bringing up her ninth career fifty in devastating fashion with two consecutive sixes in the ninth over.

After bludgeoning another six alongside Samarawickrama to help take Sri Lanka into triple figures, Athapaththu’s impressive knock was brought to an end by Kapp (1/24) to conclude the record-breaking 97-run stand. This was before Marx (1/27) picked up the scalp of Dilhari (1) to leave the visitors 114/3 after 14 overs, still needing 42 runs to win.

Despite losing wickets, Samarawickrama’s composed innings, alongside partnerships with Hasini Perera (10) and Nilakshika Silva (12), guided Sri Lanka to the brink of victory. Needing only six runs off 11 deliveries, Sri Lanka secured the win, with Samarawickrama completing the triumph with a winning single with five balls to spare.

Wolvaardt, for her outstanding performances throughout the series, was awarded the Player of the Series accolade after recording a total of 158 runs in two innings at an average of 79.

The three-match ICC Women’s Championship (2022-25) One-Day International series gets underway with the first encounter on Tuesday, 09 April at the Buffalo Park Stadium from 14h00.

Proteas Women Squad (T20I Only) – Inbound Tour against Sri Lanka 

Laura Wolvaardt (Fidelity Titans, Captain), Anneke Bosch (Fidelity Titans), Tazmin Brits (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Nadine de Klerk (World Sports Betting Western Province), Annerie Dercksen (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Sinalo Jafta (DP World Lions), Marizanne Kapp (World Sports Betting Western Province), Ayabonga Khaka (DP World Lions), Masabata Klaas (Fidelity Titans), Suné Luus (Fidelity Titans), Eliz-Mari Marx (Fidelity Titans), Karabo Meso (DP World Lions), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Tumi Sekhukhune (DP World Lions), Chloé Tryon (DP World Lions)

Results

T20 International Series

1st T20I 

South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 79 runs

South Africa: 198/5 after 20 overs; L. Wolvaardt 102 (63), M. Kapp 60 (40); A. Kulasuriya 2/39, I. Priyadharshani 1/25

Sri Lanka: 119 all out after 18.2 overs; H. Samarawickrama 38 (33), H. Perera 30 (18); A. Dercksen 2/15, T. Sekhukhune 2/25

2nd T20I
Sri Lanka beat South Africa by 7 wickets
South Africa: 137/8 after 20 overs; A. Bosch 50 (32), M. Kapp 44 (36); A. Kulasuriya 2/26, C. Athapaththu 1/18

Sri Lanka: 138/3 after 18.5 overs; V. Gunaratne 65* (57), K. Dilhari 45* (28); C. Tryon 1/14, N. de Klerk 1/27

3rd T20I

Sri Lanka beat South Africa by 4 wickets 

South Africa: 155/6 after 20 overs; L. Wolvaardt 56 (47), N. de Klerk 44 (25); S. Kumari 3/24, I. Priyadharshani 1/18

Sri Lanka: 156/6 after 19.1 overs; C. Athapaththu 73 (46), H. Samarawickrama 54 (43); N. de Klerk 2/25, T. Sekhukhune 1/24

Fixtures – South Africa Inbound Tour vs Sri Lanka 2023/24 

50-over Warm-Up Match: 

Saturday, 06 April @ 10h00

South Africa XI vs Sri Lanka XI (Buffalo Park, East London)

One-Day International Series – ICC Women’s Championship: 

Tuesday, 09 April @ 14h00

1st ODI – South Africa vs Sri Lanka (Buffalo Park, East London)

Saturday, 13 April @ 14h00

2nd ODI – South Africa vs Sri Lanka (Diamond Oval, Kimberley)

Wednesday, 17 April @ 14h00

3rd ODI – South Africa vs Sri Lanka (JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom)

For media inquiries, please contact:

Lita Gqirana – Proteas Women Media Specialist 

Cell.: (+27) 76 503 9655 

Email: litag@cricket.co.za

ENDS

Issued by: Cricket South Africa – Corporate Communications


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