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Last-ball six stuns England

Minnows Sri Lanka caused the biggest upset of women’s World Cup as they beat defending champions England by one wicket off a last-ball six in a thrilling Group A encounter at Brabourne Stadium on Friday. After drawing level with England off the penultimate ball, Sri Lanka’s Dulani Manodara pulled Georgia Elwiss over mid-wicket for a superb six to complete their first-ever win over their fancied rivals in any form of the game.

Chasing 239 for win, the Lankans got off to a flying start with a record century partnership between Chamari Athapaththu and Yasoda Mendis, but slumped to 157 for 5 before Kaushalya Lokusooriya brought them on the doorsteps of victory with a whirlwind 56 off 41 balls with three sixes and 5 fours. Kaushalya was run out off the penultimate ball at the non-striker’s end before Dulani slammed Elwiss for a six to complete a shock win over the three-time champions.

The left-right opening combination of Atapaththu (62 in 72 balls) and Yasoda (46 in 98 balls) laid the foundation of the Lankan run chase. But after Atapaththu’s exit at 103, the underdogs lost a clutch of wickets in a short span, including that of Yasoda. They looked like slumping to their eighth defeat in nine contests (one no result) against England in ODIs, before Kaushalya played the match-winning innings to knock the wind out of the champions’ sails.

Kaushalya, lucky to be dropped on nine by Jennifer Gunn in the deep, took full advantage of her ‘life’ to hit her repriever for two fours in the 48th over in which the bowler gave away 16 runs. Needing 13 from the last 12 balls, Kaushalya lost her eighth-wicket partner Deepika Rasangika, with seven balls remaining and her side needed nine off the last over. The hard-hitting batter, who  pulled Elwiss for a six to bring down the target, was dropped by the bowler in the next ball and then got run out in a dramatic final over before Dulani hit a six off the last ball to complete a famous win.

SCORES: England 238/8 (Gunn 52, Jones 41); SL 244/9 (Atapattu 62, Kaushalya 56)


AUS EVES TROUNCE PAK BY 91 RUNS


Cuttack: Title contenders Australia started their World Cup campaign on a confident manner whipping minnows Pakistan by 91 runs in their group B league opener on Friday.

Opting to bat first, Australian women could manage only 175 in 46.1 overs on a slow Barabati Stadium track but then bowled with a lot of purpose to skittle Pakistan out for a paltry 84 in 33.2 overs.

Veteran all-rounder of Indian origin Lisa Sthalekar contributed an useful 32 and then bowled nine overs of controlled off-breaks to grab two for 19. Another notable performer was Sarah Coyte who took three wickets and scored 35 runs. Pakistan team had to shift base to Cuttack for their group league matches after protests from political parties against their participation in the marquee event.

Australian batswomen didn’t have a good day as only opener Rachel Haynes (39) and Sarah Coyte (35) were the only other two, who crossed the 30-run mark barring Sthalekar.

The Australian total was propped up by the 17 wides bowled by Pakistani women. Left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf was the pick of the bowlers grabbing three for 30 while Asmavia Iqbal chipped in with two wickets.

The target wasn’t a big one but save 21-year-old batswoman Bismah Maroof who contributed 43, only Nadia yousf reached double figures. There were absolutely no partnerships and the Pakistani women found it difficult to get going against the pce trio of Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt and Sarah Coyte. oyte was the most successful bowler taking three for 20 while Perry and Schutt took two and one wicket respectively.

SCORES: Australia 175 in 46.1 overs (Rachel Haynes 39, Sarah Coyte 35, Sadia Yousuf 3/30) Pakistan 84 in 33.2 overs (Bimah Maroof 43, Sarah Coyte 3/20, Lisa Sthalekar 2/19).
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