Sri Lanka women bank on batting against West Indies

Sri Lanka women have left for their tour of the West Indies, beginning from October 11, in high spirits, boosted by a positive showing with the bat in this year’s Women’s World Cup in England.

Despite losing six of their seven World Cup matches, the team crossed the 200-mark four times – one of which was a winning total of 221 for 7 against Pakistan in their final game – and came close in two other losing causes, with the only real blemish being their drubbing at the hands of South Africa when they were bowled out for 101.

“[Prior to the tournament] a concern was that we were not getting close to 200. The team used to average 130, which was not good enough. But in the seven matches in the World Cup, we averaged 190 [195],” said head coach Hemantha Devapriya.

This drastic improvement was in part down to the fine form of Chamari Atapattu, who was responsible for one the highlights of the tournament when she bludgeoned an unbeaten 178 in 143 balls against Australia. The rest of the team more than held their own though, thanks to a new-found focus on rotating the strike.

“We developed a range of shots to increase the number of singles. We were therefore able to increase from an average of 40 runs, to 80 at the World Cup through singles,” Devapriya explained.

The inclusion of wicketkeeper-batsman Rebeca Vandort in the 15-player squad travelling to the West Indies highlights the team’s intent of doubling down on their batting strength. Seven specialist batsmen in total have been included in the squad, while the likes of Shashikala Siriwardene, Atapattu and Sripali Weerakkody offer options with both bat and ball.

The team will face the West Indies in three ODIs and three T20s.

Sri Lanka squad: Inoka Ranaweera (capt), Sripali Weerakkody, Rebeca Vandort (wk), Prasadani Weerakkody, Chamari Atapattu, Dilani Manodara, Nipuni Hansika, Hasini Perera, Yashoda Mendis, Chandima Gunaratne, Hansima Karunaratne, Shashikala Siriwardene, Ama Kanchana, Achini Kulasuriya, Udeshika Prabodhani

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