India knocked their fourth straightway win in World Cup slogging Sri Lanka by 16 runs. The team put up the score of 232 to challenge Sri Lanka. Skipper Mithali Raj’s decision to bat first on the new pitch worked out well as the figures were as expected. In the next inning as well, her strategy to use the bowling attack brought superb returns.
India’s inning was bolstered with the 118-run partnership between Deepti Sharma and Raj. The players hauled India’s score from 2 for 38 in the 11th over to 156 in 37th. The stretch ended with Sharma’s wicket. After a couple of overs, Inoka Ranaweera toppled both Raj and Jhulan Goswami in consecutive balls. Captain Raj hammered a half century scoring 53 runs. Sharma’s score of 78 was the crucial addition in India’s inning. It shunned Sri Lanka’s early success of two wickets.
Sripali Weerakkody and Chandima Gunaratne dismissed top guns Smriti Mandhana and Punam Raut before the hefty partnership. The attack struck India, leading to a sluggish start. Sri Lankan players dominated the match with fast bowling and strong fielding in the powerplay. However, both the fronts slackened during the third wicket partnership. Sharma has a life at just five. Her knock started in the over from Weerakkody. She went on hammering the sixth ODI half century. After the top order, Harmanpreet Kaur and Veda Krishnamurthy scored 50 together in 54 balls. This was the closing stand and the final push in India’s inning.
Sri Lanka started the chase with tough strike. Openers Nipini Hansika and Hasini Perera delivered boundaries. This set captain Mithali Raj to come up with medium pacers that broke the momentum. Goswami removed Perera after she plundered two boundaries Later, Poonam Yadav dismissed Chamari Atapattu and Hansika, ending a slow stretch. India bowlers were successful to slow down Sri Lanka’s chase with a mixed attack of bowlers.
Still, middle order player Dilani Manodara scored 61 off 71 balls. India, in fact, slackened the defense losing on fielding fronts by the middle overs. There was a partnership of 60 runs between Manodara and Shashikala Siriwardene, that steered the chase. Manodara kept on batting until 48th overs, while there was no good support from the lower order. Finally, by 50 overs, Sri Lanka reached 216, surrendering the match to India.
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