Pallekele [Sri Lanka], July 7 (ANI): After facing a defeat in the third ODI against India, Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu credited the Women in Blue for playing some really good cricket.
Top knocks from captain Harmanpreet Kaur and Pooja Vastrakar and an amazing bowling spell from Rajeshwari Gayakwad helped India complete a clean sweep over Sri Lanka with a 39-run win here at Pallekele on Thursday.
"Our batters struggled in the middle overs. Credit to the India team, they are playing some good cricket at the moment. (On Nilakshi de SIlva) She is a good batter, she consistently performs well but doesn't get big scores," said Athapaththu in a post-match presentation.
Captain Harmanpreet Kaur (75), Pooja Vastrakar (56*) and Shafali Verma (49) lead the Indian batting from the front, taking the visitors to 255/9 in their 50 overs. Spinner Inoka Ranaweera was the pick of the bowlers with 2/22. Captain Chamari Athapaththu and Rashmi Silva also took two wickets each.
Sri Lanka was bundled out for just 216. Captain Chamari Athapaththu (44), Hasini Perera (39) and Hasini Perera (48) played some solid knocks, though not enough for their team's cause. Gayakwad lead the Indian bowling attack from the front with 3/36.
Put to bat first by SL, India lost Smriti Mandhana for just six when the team's score was just 30. Then opener Shafali Verma and wicketkeeper-batter Yastika Bhatia put on a 59-run stand, which ended with Bhatia being dismissed for 30 by Ranaweera's spin.
Harleen Deol, Deepti Sharma and Richa Ghosh fell cheaply, reducing India to 6/124. Then captain Kaur and Vastrakar stitched a 97-run stand. The duo brought up their match-saving half-centuries.
India finished their innings at 255/9 in their 50 overs with Vastrakar (56*) and Gayakwad (3*). Inoka Ranaweera (2/22), Chamari Athapaththu (2/45) and Rashmi Silva (2/53) were the best bowlers for Sri Lanka. Rashmi Silva, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Kavisha Dilhari took a wicket each.
Chasing 256 runs, Sri Lanka lost opener Vishmi Gunaratne for 3 at the team's score of seven. Chamari Athapaththu and Hasini Perera put on a 59-run stand, which ended with Athapaththu falling for 44 to captain Kaur.
Athapaththu and Hasini Perera stitched a 36-run stand, ending with Perara getting out for 12 to Gayakwad. Perara soon followed her back to the pavilion for 39 after being bowled by Gayakwad.
Harshitha Samarawickrama and Nilakshi de Silva stitched a 36-run stand, ending with the former falling for 22 to Harleen Deol's spin. Then India strengthened their hold in the game with three quick wickets.
After that, Nilakshi de Silva and Rashmi Silva put on a 28-run stand. The partnership ended with Rashmi's stumps being dislodged for 18 by medium-pacer Meghna Singh.
Nilakshi and final batter Inoka Ranaweera could continue their team's resistance for just 33 runs. Sri Lanka were bundled out for 216 runs in 47.3 overs after Ranaweera was bowled by Deepti Sharma for just 10.
Gayakwad was the leading bowler for India with 3/36. Meghna Singh and Pooja Vastrakar took 2/32 and 2/33, respectively. Deepti, Harmanpreet and Harleen took a wicket each. (ANI)