Women on fire!

Stafanie Taylor blasted West Indies Women to victory.
Stafanie Taylor blasted West Indies Women to victory.

COLOMBO — West Indies Women continued their upward graph today when they defeated Sri Lanka by 34 runs in the third Twenty20 International match in Colombo to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to field and had success as early as the third over bowled by Eshani Kaulshalya. Belligerent middle-order batter Deandra Dottin, promoted to open the batting, hit one mighty six but was then caught in the same over by Dilani Surangika for 12.

Dottin was replaced by star batter Stafanie Taylor who proceeded to blast the Sri Lankan attack to all parts of the ground. It was virtually a one-woman show as apart from Taylor’s blistering 46-ball 75 only captain Merissa Aguilliera with 21 made any score of note. Taylor struck seven boundaries and four sixes as she was fourth out with the score on 124 in the 17th over.

Taylor added 63 for the fourth wicket with Aguilleira and by the time she was out, West Indies had already surpassed the previous-best score in the series – 90. Shashikala Siriwardene picked up two wickets, inclusive of Taylor’s and was the only bowler to concede less than six runs an over.

Earlier opener Kycia Knight had been bowled by Chamani Seneviratna for 11. Twin sister Kyshona Knight also fell cheaply when she was leg before wicket by Siriwardene for 3.

Middle order failed

After the middle order failed to add punch to Taylor’s efforts, only Shanel Daley, batting at number six with two boundaries in 15, made any significant contribution to West Indies eventual total of 145 for 6.

Siriwardene finished with 2 for 18 in her four overs while Kaulshalya took 2 for 25 in her four overs.

Sri Lanka’s chase was struck an immediate blow when Chamari Atapattu was bowled by Shakera Selman in the first over with the score on two. A 28-run partnership followed between Prasadani Weerakkody (18) and Deepika Rasangika (9) before the latter was also bowled by Selman in the seventh over of the Sri Lankan innings.

West Indies Women bowled very tight lines and kept the Sri Lankan women in check and their run-rate down to manageable proportions. Chief tormentor for the hosts was left-arm spinner Shanel Daley who kept an unerring line and length with a bit of turn to take a five-wicket haul.

Daley picked up a wicket in each of her first two overs. First she accounted for opener Weerakkody caught by Smartt, then added Ama Kanchana caught by Subrina Munroe for two. †Daley added three more wickets in her third over to register her best ever T20 figures. She snared the wickets of the big-hitting Kaulshalya for 8, †Sripali Weerakkody for 2 and Surangika for a first-ball duck.

The wickets left Sri Lanka wobbling at 59 for 7 and only some late runs by Siriwardene helped the team cross 100.

During the debacle only Siriwardene, batting at number four, had appeared capable of coping with the West Indies Women’s attack. She struck a composed 38-ball 46 in which she counted six boundaries. The Sri Lankan all-rounder was finally ninth out when she was caught by substitute Juliana Nero off Taylor.

Daley finished with figures of 5 for 15 in her four overs while Selman had 2 for 14 in four overs.

The fourth and fifth T20 Internationals are on March 7 and 8 respectively.††

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