New Zealand Women begin World T20 with win over Sri Lanka

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New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) New Zealand Women began their World T20 cricket campaign on a bright note with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka Women in a group phase clash here on Tuesday.

Set a target of 111 runs in the second match of Group A at the Ferozeshah Kotla stadium, third-ranked New Zealand were steady in the chase, determined not to lose early wickets, reaching 35 in seven overs. They reached the target losing just three wickets with 25 balls remaining.

Rachel Priest (28) and Suzie Bates (37) upped the ante to reach 50 in the 9th over, to provide a decent platform for the run chase, posting 64 in 10 overs.

But they were jolted by a double breakthrough with both the openers departing. Bates went first, getting bowled by skipper Shashikala Siriwardene. Priest went thereafter, stumped after hopelessly dancing down the pitch.

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No.3 batter Sophie Devine (7) also went cheaply. But by that time New Zealand required 31 runs off eight overs.

Sara McGlashan (21) and Amy Satterthwaite (13) had no difficulty henceforth guiding the team to the shore against their eight-ranked opponents.

Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and chose to bat, starting sedately at a run-a-ball rate till they lost their first wicket, Chamari Athapaththu (17) in the seventh over at the score of 39, getting bowled by Leigh Kasperek (2/19), their most successful bowler.

They maintained their six an over run-rate to reach 50 in 8.2 overs.

Right-hander Dilani Manondra (37) displayed first signs of urgency to hit the first six of the innings, lifting Suzie Bates straight over long on in the 12th over.

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New Zealand checked that charge, dismissing the two set batswomen, Yasoda Mendis (30) through a fine diving catch from Katie Perkins and a run out of Manondra in quick succession.

Sri Lanka were reduced to 88/3 in 14.2 overs and stuttered further when Eshani Lokusooriya (2) was castled by Lea Tahuhu and skipper Shashikala Siriwardene was run out (4).

At 93/5 in 16.2 overs, the backbone of Sri Lanka’s batting was well and truely broken.

But they still managed to go past the 100-run mark in 18.2 overs, ultimately managing 110/8.

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