Playing their first official match since the 2020 T20 World Cup, Sri Lanka started their ICC ODI World Cup Qualifiers campaign with a bang against Netherlands as skipper Atapattu went berserk from ball one. She smashed a 70-ball 111, getting her team off to a flier before getting out to her counterpart Caroline de Lange.
After Atapattu's dismissal in the 24th over, they lost wickets in regular intervals and eventually finished with 278 for nine in 50 overs. De Lange took four for 64 in her ten overs.
In reply, Netherlands started well with Babette de Leede and Sterre Kalis scoring their half-centuries. However, once the former got out for 77 runs, Sri Lanka tightened the screws, not giving away any easy runs. With Kalis dismissed for 66 runs from 94 balls, the rest of the batting line-up struggled to keep the chase going. Once the rain intervened after 43.4 overs, Sri Lanka were declared winners by 82 runs.
ALSO READ: Meghana Sabbineni: Indian Railways’ North Star
Meanwhile, Ireland openers Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis added 73 runs for the first wicket against West Indies before Anisa Mohammed got rid of Lewis. Hayley Matthew joined the party and the spin duo induced a collapse, restricting Ireland to 159 all out in 43 overs. Lewis was the top scorer with 36 runs from 58 balls.
Despite losing Rashada Williams early in a sub-par chase, Deandra Dottin kept the innings going for West Indies along with Chedean Nation. Once the latter got out, skipper Taylor joined Dottin in the middle and built a strong partnership. Dottin continued her good form from the warm-ups, scoring an 87-ball 73. Although Hayley Matthews did not last long, Taylor made sure that West Indies got across the line in 39.3 overs with an unbeaten 41 from 54 balls.
ALSO READ: Improved depth, competition for spots and a search for balance: England’s summer of 2021
For Bangladesh, Sharmin Akhter and Murshida Khatun got them off to a good start. They added 96 runs before Khatun fell three runs short of her half-century. Akhter, however, went on to score 130 runs from 141 balls, taking Bangladesh to 322 for five in 50 overs. In reply, USA were bundled out for 53 runs in 30.3 overs, conceding a 269-run win to Bangladesh.
Pakistan were in for a horror start once again as they lost three early wickets. Captain Javeria Khan and Aliya Riaz tried to revive the innings, but Thipatcha Putthawong's fifer meant that Pakistan were all out for 145 in 48 overs. Riaz was the top runscorer with 49 runs from 66 runs.
However, Pakistan bowlers put their hands up and rattled the Thailand top-order with the ball. They took a wicket each early in the innings, reducing Thailand to 46 for four in 16.4 overs. The batting team could not recover from the blow and was dismissed for 93 in 42.5 overs. Javeria used six bowlers, and all of them chipped in with a wicket or two, helping Pakistan secure a crucial victory.
Pakistan 145 all out in 43 overs (Aliya Riaz 49; Thipatcha Putthawong 5/18) Thailand 93 all out in 42.5 overs (Nattaya Boochatham 18; Fatima Sana 2/8) by 52 runs.
Sri Lanka 278/9 in 50 overs (Chamari Atapttu 111; Caroline de Lange 4/64) Netherlands 196/6 43.4 overs (Babette de Ledee 77; Anura Ranasinghe 2/36) by 82 runs (DLS Method)
Ireland 159/10 in 43 overs (Gaby Lewis 36; Anisa Mohammed 3/40) West Indies 163/4 in 39.3 overs (Deandra Dottin 73; Eimear Richardson 2/33) in 6 wickets.
Bangladesh 322/5 in 50 overs (Sharmin Akhter 130*; Moksha Chaudhary 2/64) USA 53 all out in 30.3 overs (Tara Norris 16; Salma Khatun 2/10) by 269 runs.