All-round Chamari Atapattu takes Sri Lanka to Commonwealth Games 2022
Sri Lanka qualified for the Commonwealth Games 2022 that’s scheduled to be held in Birmingham from July 29. Skipper Chamari Atapattu put on an all-round show to help the island nation complete their unbeaten run in the Commonwealth Games Qualifiers with a win over Bangladesh at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur on Monday (January 24).
Opting to bat first, after Vishmi Gunaratne got out early in the fourth over, Atapattu went on the attack hitting Suraiya for a four in the next ball. The left-hander then smashed Nahida Akter for two sixes in her first two overs. In between she added a boundary and a maximum off Rumana Ahmed.
The southpaw was severe on all the bowlers and hit three more boundaries before getting caught by wicket-keeper Shamima Sultana off Ahmed for 48 off 28 balls. Post her dismissal, 20s from Nilakshi de Silva and Anushka Sanjeevani helped Sri Lanka to post a competitive total of 136 for six from the stipulated 20 overs.
For Bangladesh, Akter took two wickets but was expensive giving away 34 runs from her four overs.
In reply, although they made 16 from first two overs, Bangladesh lost Shamima in the third over with Ama Kanchana accounting for her. From there, Murshida Khatun and Fargana Hoque took the attack the Sri Lankan bowlers as they ended at the power play at 46 for one.
Post the power play, the duo struggled to hit boundaries and could add only 22 in the next five overs before Atapattu accounted for Murshida. The left-hander was trapped in front of the wicket for a run-a-ball 36. Although, Nigar Sultana hit a couple of boundaries, it wasn’t enough as the required run rate climbed to over ten going into the last four overs.
Meanwhile, Atapattu once again struck with the big wicket of Nigar in the 16th over for 20. No boundaries came in the third over and Bangladesh needed an improbable 27 runs from the last over. Atapattu once again employed her own off-spin for the final over and only four runs came off it with Ritu Moni becoming her third wicket.
For Sri Lanka, Atapattu was the most successful bowler with figures of three for 17 from her four overs. She ended her prolific tournament with the player of the match and the player of the series awards.
Bangladesh finished 22-run short of Sri Lanka’s score and giving the latter their fourth win from as many matches. With this victory, Sri Lanka will go into the Commonwealth Games 2022 as the fourth team in Group B of the competition. They will join England, New Zealand, South Africa in the group.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 136/6 in 20 overs (Chamari Atapattu 48, Nilakshi de Silva 28; Nahida Akter 2/34) beat Bangladesh 114/5 in 20 overs (Murshida Khatun 36, Fargana Hoque 33; Chamari Atapattu 3/17) by 22 runs POTM: Chamari Atapattu, POTS: Chamari Atapattu