Athapaththu’s century earns Sri Lanka a consolation win; Pakistan take series 2-1

Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu led from the front with 101 off 85 balls, leading her team to a commanding 93-run win over Pakistan in the third and final ODI of the series at Southend Club on Sunday.

Despite the loss, Pakistan had an unassailable lead in the series and won by 2-1.

After Chamari’s blitz took Sri Lanka to 260/7, the tourists then bowled out Pakistan for 167 in 41.4 overs. From the series, which is a part of the ICC Women’s Championship, Pakistan now have four points while Sri Lanka collected two points from Sunday’s win, ending their tour on a high after losing T20I series 3-0 and first two ODIs.

Chamari, who had struggled to get going on the tour, finally displayed her immense batting prowess with a scintillating century to set a solid platform for her side’s imposing total after she won the toss and opted to bat first for the fifth time on the tour. The left-hander posted the sixth century of her 50-over career off the 82nd ball of her knock, laced with 13 fours and a six.

Though she fell shortly for 101 with Nida Dar dismissing her in the 31st over, Chamari had done her job by then to set a platform for Sri Lanka’s total. She began by taking the attack to Pakistan’s bowlers after losing Hasini Perera (3) and Hansima Karunaratne (0) in quick succession.

Chamari found an able partner in Harshitha Madavi as the duo added 152 for the third-wicket, becoming the first Sri Lanka pair to share a partnership above 150 in ODIs. After Athapaththu’s departure, Madavi kept the scoreboard moving for Sri Lanka. She was eventually dismissed in the 44th over for 75 off 128 balls and added 60 for the fourth-wicket with Kavisha Dilhari (28).

For Pakistan, Anam Amin and Fatima Sana took two wickets apiece for the hosts while Nida and Omaima Sohail had a wicket each. In their pursuit of 261, Pakistan were pegged back after a decent start, slumping from 41/0 to 48/4 in nine overs.

Sidra Amin, Muneeba Ali, captain Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar were dismissed in quick succession as Sri Lankan bowlers tightened the screws. Though Omaima fought hard with her 40 off 61 balls and all-rounder Aliya Riaz hit 56 off 82 balls, Pakistan never recovered from the collapse in the first ten overs as the required run-rate surged and none of the batters could catch up with it.

Chamari capped off a brilliant day in the field with 2/20 in six overs while Oshadi Ranasinghe took 2/29. Kavisha, Sugandika Kumari and Inoka Ranaweera took a wicket apiece in Sri Lanka’s win which came in the 42nd over.

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