Sri Lanka ended their Women’s Twenty20 World Cup on a high today (02) with a crushing victory over Bangladesh in a fitting farewell to retiring veteran Shashikala Siriwardena, who bagged a tournament-best four for 16.
The clinical nine-wicket win was their first of the event to leave them fourth in Group ‘A’, with Bangladesh crashing to defeat in all four games to prop up the table.
While Pakistan and Bangladesh couldn’t reach the knock-outs, there was plenty riding on the outcome with the winner avoiding having to qualify for the 2022 tournament in South Africa by virtue of finishing as one of the top eight sides.
“I am really happy with the performance. This game was always going to be tough for us, but our players, particularly the bowlers, did very well,” said Sri Lanka Captain Chamari Atapattu, who paid tribute to Siriwardena.
“She’s a legend in Sri Lanka and she’s the big sister of the Sri Lankan Team. I will miss her a lot but she retired like a champion.”
Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bat on a cool day at Junction Oval in Melbourne, but again failed to fire.
None of their players has managed a half century during the tournament, with Nigar Sultana Joty once more the standout, smacking 39 in their 91 for eight with no one else managing more than 13.
All-rounder Siriwardena grabbed four for 16 in her last match after a 17-year international career.
“I’m feeling so happy because I could contribute to my team in my last match, so I am really proud,” said the 35-year-old.
“It was emotional but you cannot keep emotions on the field.”
Sri Lanka made a good start with Atapattu crunching 30 before being stumped.
Fellow opener Hasini Perera (39 not out) and Anushka Sanjeewani (16 not out) kept the momentum going to cruise home against a lacklustre bowling attack with 27 balls remaining.
Bangladesh: 91/8 in 20 overs (Sultana Joty 39, Shashikala Siriwardene 4/16)
Sri Lanka: 92/1 in 15.3 overs (Hasini Perera 39 n.o, Chamari Atapattu 30).