Windies Girls lose but stay top
Galle, Sri Lanka – In what was seen as the first major upset of the tournament, an inspired Sri Lanka overcame West Indies challenge by five runs, courtesy the Duckworth/Lewis method, to register their first win of the ICC Women’s World T20 2012 on Friday.< p class=MsoNormal style='line-height:normal;background:white'>The West Indies however remained top of Group B with two points gained from their win against sensational seven-wicket over the much New Zealand on Wednesday. They will need to beat South Africa on Sunday to earn a spot in the semi-finals.
A good crowd came out on Friday, given the local interest, and was treated to some typical Sri Lankan flavour at the Galle International Stadium. The drums and trumpets were out in force, and those that turned up to watch the game witnessed outstanding fielding, wicket-to-wicket bowling, and some inspired captaincy by Shashikala Siriwardena. The victory meant that Sri Lanka is still in with a shout for a semi-final spot.
A downpour delayed the start of play by nearly an hour, which is why it was not surprise to see West Indies opt to bowl. Sri Lanka was at 50 for three after 10.3 overs, with Siriwardena unbeaten on 18, when the heavens opened. After another hour-long delay, West Indies was set a revised target of 48 from eight overs.
The Sri Lankan team was in a huddle for nearly five minutes before it went out to bowl. Once out on the field, it was a completely transformed unit, significantly sharper than it had been in the previous game against South Africa.
The start was far from convincing for West Indies, as Stafanie Taylor was run out for three. Deandra Dottin, the star of the previous game, was then dismissed for four to leave it staring at a possible defeat.
Siriwardena was proactive with her field settings and her decision to bring on spinners from both ends met with an aggressive approach from the West Indies batters, which worked in Sri Lanka's favour.
Tremayne Smartt (8) fell in trying to clear the infield, while Stacy-Ann King was brilliantly run out for 12 as panic set in. With 12 required off the final over, Eshani Kaushalya, bowling her first over of the game, conceded only six. West Indies finished on 42-8 to hand Sri Lanka a thrilling win.
Chamani Seneviratna was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2-4 in two overs, while Inoka Ranaweera also had two wickets. What won Sri Lanka the game though was its fielding, which was top notch right through.