First strike

TAROUBA, Trinidad – West Indies Women overpowered Sri Lanka Women by six wickets to take a 1-0 lead in their three-match One-Day International series today.

Playing at the Brian Lara Stadium, they easily chased down 137 with 11 overs to spare, securing the result which handed them an important two points in the new round of the ICC Women’s Championship.

Former captain Merissa Aguilleira top-scored with an unbeaten 32 while Chedean Nation got 24 and Deandra Dottin and Hayley Matthews, 22 apiece.

Hayley Matthews bowled splendidly to capture 3 for 18 in 10 overs. She also chipped in with 22 before retiring hurt.

Left-arm spinner and captain Inoka Ranaweera claimed two for 27.

West Indies Women were off to a shaky start in pursuit of their victory target. Opening batter Barbadian Kycia Knight was run out for one in a mix-up with Matthews with just two runs on the board. Captain Stafanie Taylor filled the breach but she did not last very long. Taylor drove loosely at a full length swinging delivery from Sripali Weerakkody and edged to slip where Prasadani Weerakkody took an excellent diving catch to her left. That left the home side at 7 for 2.

However, Matthews and Nation started the recovery effort by posting 42 for the third wicket. Matthews faced 64 balls and counted two fours while Nation, who looked in excellent touch with some crisp drives through cover and extra-cover, faced 46 deliveries and gathered three fours.

Matthews was forced off hurt in the 20th over when she played a pull shot and then slumped to the ground holding the back of her thigh. The Barbadian right-hander received on-field attention from the medics but subsequently was taken off the field. Nation would return to the pavilion 16 balls later, to leave the hosts on 61 for three in the 23rd over. The sturdy Jamaican was caught by Chamari Atapattu off the bowling of Ranaweera.

Aguilleira then anchored two stands to see Windies Women to a comfortable win. The right-hander produced a busy innings off 48 deliveries with a single four, putting on 34 for the fourth wicket with Dottin before adding a further 43 with Kyshona Knight (21 not out) in an unbroken fifth wicket stand.

Earlier, the visitors were dismissed for 136 with two balls left in the innings, after winning the toss and opting to bat.

They were undermined by off-spinners Matthews (3-18) and Taylor (3-24), along with leg-spinner Afy Fletcher (3-42) all of whom grabbed three wickets each.

Opener Yashoda Mendis top-scored with 34 off 72 balls while Dilani Manodara scored 28 not out and Atapattu, 25.

The innings was in good stead at 63 for one in the 24th over, with Atapattu and Mendis involved in a 41-run second wicket partnership.

But once Matthews had Atapattu caught and bowled, the Sri Lankans collapsed with the last nine wickets tumbling for 73 runs. 

Source: (CMC)

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