West Indies Women yesterday overpowered Sri Lanka Women by 47 runs to end their wretched unbeaten run at the ICC Women’s World Cup and begin their quest to salvage some pride from an otherwise depressing campaign.
With four defeats in their previous outings, the Caribbean side turned the page on the disappointing run by posting their best total of the tournament with 229 for nine off 50 overs and then successfully defending it, holding the Sri Lankans 182 off 48 overs.
While the victory handed the Windies their first points of the tournament with two games remaining, it kept Sri Lanka as one of two winless sides along with the bottom-placed Pakistan Women.
Sent in at Derbyshire County Ground, veteran Merissa Aguilleira top-scored with an unbeaten 46, while Deandra Dottin stroked 38 and Kyshona Knight and Hayley Matthews got 26 apiece.
Seamer Sripali Weerakkody claimed three for 38, while pacer Ama Kanchana (2-50) and left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera (2-56) finished with two wickets apiece.
Not for the first time, 19-year-old opener Matthews got a start, hitting three fours in a breezy 32-ball knock as she added 34 for the first wicket with Kycia Knight who made 19.
However, she missed a pull at Weerakkody and was lbw in the eighth over and West Indies suffered a huge blow 10 balls later when captain Stafanie Taylor was taken behind off the same bowler for just four, at 42 for two.
Chedean Nation made 20 off 38, posting 33 for the third wicket with Kycia Knight but the partnership required 61 and put a drag on the innings.
The right-handed Nation perished in the 20th over, edging a loose drive at Weerakkody behind and Kycia Knight’s 53-ball labour ended in the 25th over when she bungled a sweep and was lbw to off-spinner Shashikala Siriwardene at 102 for four.
Dottin dazzled in her first significant innings of the tournament, facing just 25 deliveries and striking seven delightful boundaries all around the ground.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers were just about out of ideas when Dottin attempted a reverse paddle to a full length ball and was palpably lbw to Ranaweera in the 28th over at 124 for four.
From there on, Aguilleira managed the innings well for the Windies in a knock that lasted 59 balls and included two fours. She started slowly but then picked up the tempo, adding 37 for the sixth wicket with Kyshona Knight and 31 for the seventh wicket with Shanel Daley (21).
Kyshona Knight lived a charmed life, surviving a run out, a stumping and a caught and bowled chance before finally going bowled in the 39th over missing a heave at Ranaweera, after facing 49 deliveries and striking three fours.
Daley counted a four and a six in a busy 22-ball knock before holding out in the deep off Kanchana.
Sri Lanka, in reply, were then hurt by Player-of-the-Match Anisa Mohammed who claimed three for 39 while spinners Shanel Daley (2-30) and Afy Fletcher (2-38) supported with two wickets apiece.
Shashikala Siriwardene top-scored with 33, Prasadani Weerakkody chipped in with 30 while Chamari Jayangani got 26.
Off-spinner Taylor, taking the new ball, got the breakthrough when she had Hasini Perera well caught at the wicket by Aguilleira for four in the fifth over. And four balls later in the next over, off-spinner Matthews bowled Nipuni Hansika for nine, after getting one to drift and beat the left-hander’s drive.
Siriwardene and Jayangani combined to bolster the Sri Lankan innings, frustrating the Windies in a stand of 61 for the third wicket.
While the right-handed Siriwardene faced 67 balls and struck five fours, her left-handed partner counted two fours and faced 50 balls.
When Jayangani was brilliantly stumped off Mohammed in the 25th over, three wickets tumbled for four runs in the space of 14 balls as Sri Lanka slumped to 88 for five in the 27th over.
Prasadani Weerakkody and Oshadi Ranasinghe held up the Windies advance with a 42-run sixth wicket stand but once the partnership was broken, the last five wickets went down for 52 runs.