India players celebrate after a Lankan wicket Image: Twitter/ @ICC
A brilliant all-round performance helped India beat Sri Lanka by 16 runs in a group stage match of the ICC Women's World Cup at the County Cricket ground on Wednesday. The win marked the Indian women's fourth consecutive win in the tournament and edged a step closer to guaranteeing themselves a semifinal spot.
Chasing 233, Sri Lanka never looked in the contention as they lost their wickets at regular intervals. Middle-order players — Chamari Atapattu (25), Dilani Manodara (37) and Shashikala Siriwardene (61) — displayed some good batting, but Indian bowlers soon overpowered them.
Besides these, no other Sri Lankan batswomen stepped up to the occasion and lost wickets at the regular intervals.
For India, Poonam Yadav and Jhulan Goswami took two wickets each.
Earlier, winning the toss and electing to bat, Deepti Sharma (78) and skipper Mithali Raj (53) helped India post a competitive 232 on the board.
After a poor start by the top order batswomen, Deepti and Mithali forged an 118-run third-wicket partnership in 26 overs to stabilise the Indian innings.
But just when things seemed good at the middle, Deepti was sent packing in the 37th over by pacer Ama Kanchana. Deepti slammed 10 boundaries in her 110-ball knock.
New batswoman Jhulan Goswami (9) was dismissed in the 40th over and in the same over Milthali was adjudged leg before wicket off slow left-arm orthodox bowler Inoka Ranaweera.
Middle-order batswomen Harmanpreet Kaur (20) and Veda Krishnamurthy (29) added 50 runs for the sixth wicket before both players were dismissed by pacer S. Weerakkody in the same over.
Lower-order batswomen Sushma Verma (11) and Mansi Joshi (2) struggled in the slog overs, and as a result, Sri Lanka managed to keep India below the 250-run mark.
For Sri Lanka, Weerakkody scalped three wickets while Ranaweera took two wickets.
(With inputs from IANS)