A captain’s innings, hearty fielding and vibrant team spirit. Every ball fell dark horse Sri Lanka’s way in their scintillating three-run victory over hosts South Africa, in the opening game of the Women’s T20 World Cup at Newlands.
South Africa’s journey to T20 World Cup glory just became a lot more difficult after a shock defeat to Sri Lanka in the opening game of the International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament.
Experienced Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu played an inspired innings of 68 off 50 deliveries – scoring more than half of her team’s 129 runs – to guide her side to an upset victory over South Africa on Friday 10 February.
The skipper opened the innings and carried her bat to the 18th over, to help guide her young side to a competitive total against the hosts.
Chasing 130 to win, in front of more than 8,000 home spectators – the biggest crowd ever for a women’s game in the country – and with a batting lineup brimming with confidence, South Africa looked prime to start their World Cup campaign with a victory at the halfway mark.
But the home side buckled under the pressure of the occasion, losing wickets…