Sri Lanka Shocks South Africa in Women’s T20 World Cup Opener

Sri Lanka Shocks South Africa in Women's T20 World Cup Opener

Sri Lanka managed to stun the host nation, South Africa, in the opening match of the Women’s T20 World Cup held in Cape Town.

The Sri Lankan team delivered an outstanding bowling performance, with spinner Inoka Ranaweera taking three wickets for 18 runs, leading to a dramatic win for Sri Lanka. The packed Newlands crowd was left speechless as South Africa fell three runs short of the 130 needed to win, despite needing only 13 from the final over.

The Sri Lankan first-innings total of 129-4 was set up by a strong showing from their captain, Chamari Atapattu, who scored 68 runs from 49 balls and 17-year-old Vishmi Gunaratne, who contributed 35 runs.

Although Sri Lanka started the game slowly, reaching just 28 runs after the powerplay due to the intense opening spells from South African quicks Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail, Atapattu and Vishmi added 86 runs for the second wicket, marking Sri Lanka’s highest partnership for any wicket in T20s against South Africa.

Throughout South Africa’s chase, the momentum shifted, with captain Sune Luus looking to lead her team to victory, only to be stumped for 28 in the 19th over.

Despite the defeat, the South African crowd still showed their support, with plenty of song, color, dance, and joy throughout the match. However, the result may raise questions, as the South African World Cup preparation was shrouded in controversy and debate, with the selectors dropping their captain and star all-rounder Dane van Niekerk for not meeting the standard time for a two-kilometer run.

Both Sri Lanka and South Africa will look to continue their World Cup journeys, with Sri Lanka set to take on Bangladesh on Sunday and South Africa facing off against New Zealand on Monday.

Despite the loss, South Africa captain Sune Luus remains optimistic, stating “one game doesn’t define us” and that there are many positives to take from the match moving forward. On the other hand, Sri Lanka captain Chamari Atapattu is hopeful for a semi-final spot, as she looks to reach the semi-finals for the first time in her eighth World Cup appearance.

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