First strike

Dottin, Matthews star in ODI series opener

COLOMBO –– Middle-order batter Deandra Dottin’s unbeaten 113-ball 84 helped West Indies women beat Sri Lanka women by five wickets in their first One Day International in Colombo today.

Chasing 150 for victory, West Indies were rocked early as they slumped to 41 for 4 in the 11th over, but a 70-run fifth-wicket partnership between Dottin and Merissa Aguilleira (30) put the game in West Indies’ grasp. It was followed by an unbroken 42-run stand between Dottin and Stacy-Ann King (18) which finished the match off. Eshani Lokusuriyage, who was appointed captain after an injury to Chamari Atapattu, picked up two wickets in one over but bowled only three overs.

Deandra Dottin blasted West Indies to victory after early hiccups. (FP)
Deandra Dottin blasted West Indies to victory after early hiccups. (FP)

The openers Kycia Knight and talented teenager Hayley Matthews were parted in the third over of the reply when Matthews was caught and bowled by Sripali Weerakkody without scoring. In the following over Matthew’s fellow Barbadian Knight was caught by Maduri Samuddika off the bowling of medium pacer Eshani Kaushalya for nine to leave the West Indies struggling at 9 for 2.

Hayley Matthews took three wickets in an excellent spell.
Hayley Matthews took three wickets in an excellent spell.

It was soon 10 for 3 when star batter Stafanie Taylor was dismissed by Kaushalya trapped lbw for 4 in the same over. Dottin, who batted at number 5, steadied the innings somewhat in partnership with Shemaine Campbelle adding 31 runs before Campbelle was sent back to the pavilion via the lbw route to Samuddika. She made just eight of the partnership.

Captain Merissa Aguilleira joined Dottin and these two produced the best partnership of the innings. Aguilleira, whose batting form has been horrendous over the past two years with a string of failures, made her best contribution in ages to the team’s score. Both the captain and Dottin were rather cautious in their approach as the Sri Lankan bowlers kept very disciplined lines.

Aguilleira was stumped by wicketkeeper Prasadani Weerakkody off the bowling of left-arm orthodox spinner Inoka Ranaweera in the first ball of the first over of the 30th over. That was to be the hosts final success as Dottin was joined by Stacy-Ann King and their partnership saw West Indies to the winning target. Kaushalya was the best of the bowlers with 2 for 4 from three overs.

Earlier after choosing to bat, Sri Lanka got off to a solid start as Prasadani Weerakkody (42) and Lasanthi Madushani (23) put up a 70-run opening stand in 122 balls. However, their innings went downhill from there with Weerakkody being caught and bowled by Anisa Mohammed and Madushani going by the run-out route after some smart play between keeper Knight and Mohammed.

The 17-year-old Matthews then made her presence felt in the game with an inspired spell of off-spin bowling that soon saw the Sri Lankan women reduced to 109 for 7 after their very promising start. Matthews mesmerized the middle-order accounting for Shashikala Siriwardene (17), Chathurani Gunawardene (3) and Kaushalya (0).

West Indies Women also fielded brilliantly, effecting four run-outs as Sri Lanka’s running between the wickets became chaotic. Following the opening partnership the next highest contributor was the number eight batter Sripali Weerakkody who finished unbeaten on 24 as wickets tumbled around her. Matthews took 3 for 19 from seven overs and Mohammed finished with the outstanding figures of 10-2-15-2.

Sri Lanka and West Indies are aiming to boost their standings in this the third round of the ICC Women’s Championship. The series includes four ODIs but only the final three matches scheduled for May 15, 18 and 20 will count towards the eight-team ICC Women’s Championship. The top four sides from this tournament will qualify automatically for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, while the bottom four sides will play in the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier.

The West Indies are currently sitting fifth on the table while Sri Lanka are seventh. A 3-0 series victory for the West Indies would see them join early pace-setters Australia at the top of the table.

Sri Lanka, in contrast, would create daylight between themselves and India at the bottom end of the table if they win the series. A series whitewash, which will now not occur, would have seen them move into third position on the league table. However, a 2-1 victory for the hosts would see them climb two places to join England on seven points.

Source: (cricinfo)

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