A scarcely believable bowling performance from West Indies, keeping Sri Lanka to a mere 69 in 20 overs, gave them a 1-0 lead in the women’s T20I series that began in Antigua on Thursday. Medium-pacer Shakera Selman took 2 for 7, offspinner Anisa Mohammed finished with 2 for 14 and the even their most expensive bowler only conceded runs at 4.5 to the over. A total of 140 proved plenty more than enough.
The eventual margin of victory – 71 runs – was West Indies’ third largest in T20Is with Sri Lanka matching their third-lowest total in T20Is. Only two batsmen got into double-figures – Ama Kanchana making 18 off 21 balls at No. 3 and wicketkeeper Rebeca Vandort with 10 off 23 balls at No. 7.
The innings began to flag when Selman ripped out both openers in her first two overs. Chamari Atapattu, who was a sensation in the Women’s ODI World Cup, was caught behind for 1 off the fifth ball of the chase and her partner Yasoda Mendis was lbw for a duck. Mohammed took out the middle order and soon Sri Lanka were 33 for 5 in the 12th over with no way out. They managed to play out the full 20, making one run more than West Indies’ Hayley Matthews (37) and her captain Stafanie Taylor (31). Late acceleration from the recalled Britney Cooper (20 off 11 balls) to lift the total from 106 for 4 to 140 in the space of19 balls almost seemed unnecessary.