Sri Lanka women stun England
Sri Lanka produced one of the biggest shocks in the history of women’s cricket by inflicting a one-wicket defeat on defending champions England in their opening World Cup clash at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium.
Charlotte Edwards’ side were restricted to 238 for eight after losing the toss, a score that was subsequently overhauled off the final ball of the match in a truly thriling finale.
After an opening stand of 103 between the enterprising Chamari Atapattu and Yasoda Mendis had boosted Sri Lankan hopes, England struck at regular intervals and appeared to have regained control heading into the closing overs.
However, Eshani Kaushalya, who had earlier returned 2-49, made the most of being dropped on 11 by Jenny Gunn at long-on with a powerful, boundary-laden innings.
Kaushalya was run out at the non-striker’s end for 56 with the scores level, but Dilani Manodara ensured the all-rounder’s efforts did not go in vain by swiping Georgia Elwiss’ last delivery over midwicket for six, sparking jubilant scenes among the Sri Lankan squad.
While England still have the opportunity to recover with further group games against India and West Indies to follow, this loss - their first to Sri Lanka - represents a surprise setback.
England’s own batting effort was rescued by two partnerships that married youth with experience.
Arran Brindle and Heather Knight batted cautiously in a stand of 64 that proved restorative after their side had been reduced to 29 for three.
The fourth-wicket pair departed in quick succession, but Gunn and wicketkeeper Amy Jones steadied the ship before accelerating impressively en route to 52 and 41 respectively.
Jones’ classy 49-ball knock was particularly impressive given that it came on her international debut. The 19-year-old was drafted in as a replacement for Sarah Taylor, who missed out with a minor injury along with Laura Marsh.
When Katherine Brunt and Danielle Hazell added late impetus to England’s innings, an upset appeared less likely, but Atapattu, a dashing left-hander, had other ideas and exhibited an array of eye-catching strokes at the start of Sri Lanka’s reply.
Mendis was less convincing in progressing to 46 and was put down by Knight at first slip with just five to her name.
England’s first scalp eventually arrived in the 24th over when Brindle had Atapattu caught at mid-on for 62, a breakthrough that prompted something of a collapse.
The required run-rate rose above eight at one stage as wickets tumbled, but Kaushalya’s reprieve was to prove the pivotal moment.
Having been put down on the boundary by Gunn, she blasted three sixes - including one in the final over that began with nine runs required - to set up a remarkable shock.
Live Text Commentary
Sri Lanka Innings
10:37am - END OF MATCH - SRI LANKA (242/9; Kaushalya 56) WIN BY ONE WICKET! A huge six over square-leg from Kaushalya takes Sri Lanka to the brink of victory. The next ball is skied high into the air, but Elwiss spills a chance off her own bowling. Kaushalya is run out backing up next ball to add to the tension and the penultimate delivery of the match is a dot, but Dilani Manodara then goes aerial over the leg side to complete a remarkable win for the underdogs. What a match!
10:30am - WICKET! Rasangika c Gunn b Hazell 9; SL 229/8 - Hazell beats Kaushalya’s outside edge at the start of the 49th over and subsequently has Rasangika caught at point. That leaves 10 needed from seven and a single from new batter Dilani Manodara takes the equation to nine off six. Elwiss will bowl the final over.
10:25am - Brunt returns for her final over, which could well prove key with 33 needed from 24 balls. England’s spearhead rises to the challenge with a hostile set of six that goes for four. A mis-field at mid-off then allows Deepika Rasangika to collect three off Gunn, bringing Kaushalya back on strike. The set batter drags a full-toss behind square before finding the cover fence. An off-driven four from Rasangika leaves 13 needed from 12. We may be about to see a huge upset!
10:15am - WICKET! S Weerakkody c Jones b Brindle 0; SL 206/7 - The momentum swings again as Kaushalya collects successive off-side fours off Brindle. The bowler responds by having Sripali Weerakody caught behind for a golden duck.
10:11am - WICKET! Seneviratna b Gunn 14; SL 197/6 - Gunn makes amends, bowling Seneviratna via inside-edge in an over costing just two!
10:06am - England are given reason to rue Gunn’s drop as the hard-hitting Kaushalya goes downtown to collect maximums off Colvin and Hazell. This game looks to be going down to the wire! Sri Lanka need 44 from 36.
10am - DROPPED CHANCE - Kaushalya aims another big heave at Colvin and picks out Gunn on the boundary, but the fielder spills a relatively straightforward chance. From the next ball, there is a stumping appeal, but Kaushalya survives!
9:59am - Kaushalya is not giving up and muscles Colvin over cow corner for four, but a tight over from Brindle strengthens England’s position. Sixty-five runs are required from 48 balls now.
9:53am - The batting powerplay ends with England having claimed two more key wickets. Sri Lanka now need more than seven an over, which appears a stiff ask. Eshani Kaushalya and Chamani Seneviratna, who impressed with the ball this morning, are together at the crease.
9:45am - WICKET! Dolawatte c Greenway b Brunt 4; SL 157/5 - The ebullient Brunt is convinced she has Sandamali Dolawatte caught behind, but the umpire does not believe there was an edge. Wicketkeeper Jones did not seem overly enthused either in all honesty. It matters little, as Dolawatte picks out Greenway in Brunt’s next over!
9:34am - WICKET! Siriwardene c Greenway b Elwiss 34; SL 153/4 - It is going to be an uphill task for Sri Lanka now. Siriwardene’s eyes light up when Elwiss offers width, but a loose cut stroke is pouched by a diving Lydia Greenway at backward point.
9:28am - Drinks are taken for the final time with Sri Lanka needing 92 from 15 overs. For the first time, the asking rate has risen above a run a ball.
9:21am - WICKET! P Weerakkody b Elwiss 1; SL 145/3 - Another scalp for England as Prasadani Weerakkody is cleaned up playing across the line!
9:15am - WICKET! Mendis c Colvin b Brunt 46; SL 142/2 - Brunt returns and bounces out Mendis, who she had dropped at the start of the run-chase. On this occasion, Colvin makes no mistake with the simplest of catches after the opener had top-edged an attempted pull.
9:09am - Back-to-back boundaries - a leg-glance from Mendis and another cut from Siriwardene - provide Sri Lanka with renewed momentum. Siriwardene then dances down the track to loft Colvin down the ground for four more.
9:04am - Shashikala Siriwardene cuts Wyatt for four and then repeats the trick off Colvin. With Mendis, who has 40 from 81 balls, struggling to score freely, Sri Lanka’s captain has a key role to play. Meanwhile, Australia are now firmly on course for victory over Pakistan in Cuttack and New Zealand are about to complete a resounding win over South Africa.
8:54am - Danni Wyatt, who hails from the wonderful county of Staffordshire (I bet you can’t guess where I’m from), enters the attack as England seek to pile on the pressure. Her first over features three singles and as many dot balls. After conceding eight in her opening set of six, Brindle has kept things really tight and the required rate is now pushing towards five and a half an over.
8:46am - WICKET! Atapattu c Hazell b Brindle 62; SL 103/1 - Brindle makes the breakthrough for England! Atapattu has batted superbly today, but her innings comes to a tame end as she picks out Hazell at mid-on.
8:45am – CENTURY PARTNERSHIP - A strong lbw appeal from Brindle against Mendis is turned down. That looked pretty adjacent to me and Mendis makes the most of her let-off by lofting Gunn over midwicket for four to take the score into three figures.
8:39am - Brindle forces a false stroke from Atapattu, but the ball sails over the fielder at short third man. The 22-year-old then flays Gunn over backward point to move to 61. This has been a very entertaining innings and England could do with it ending soon!
8:30am - FIFTY! Atapattu (64b 5x4 1x6) - More good fortune for Mendis as a leading edge off Colvin lands safely in the covers. After a quiet over from Brindle and a brief stoppage for drinks, Atapattu drives Jenny Gunn to the sweeper on the cover boundary to reach 50. A joyous celebration follows and who can blame her?
8:20am - MISSED CHANCES - Atapattu greets the introduction of Arran Brindle with a swept four behind square. Mendis is then fortunate not to be stumped as the ball brushes her pad and evades Amy Jones. From the next delivery, Brindle takes a painful blow on the finger attempting to take the sharpest of return catches.
8:14am - The accuracy and guile of Colvin looks to be frustrating Atapattu a little. When the opener does connect cleanly with a slog-sweep, Brunt pulls off a fine diving stop at deep midwicket to save two runs. The 15th over ends with another full-toss, this time from Colvin, that Mendis swings over the infield at midwicket.
8:04am - Here comes Holly Colvin, arguably England’s most reliable bowler. The slow left-armer is typically parsimonious in her first over, conceding just two singles, but Hazell subsequently serves up a full-toss and Mendis cashes in to claim her third boundary. Sri Lanka’s openers have now put on 55 in 12 overs.
7:58am – Atapattu appears in wonderful touch and stands tall to thrash Brunt through the covers. The left-hander is fortunate to survive in the next over, however, as two wild heaves at Hazell land safely, with the first flying over mid-off for four.
7:49am - Danielle Hazell, one of three spinners in the England side, replaces Elwiss and should be high on confidence after picking up five wickets in England’s final warm-up game against New Zealand. Atapattu, who appears to have plenty of strokes in her armoury, sweeps for four in an otherwise quiet set of six.
7:45am - Mendis dispatches a full-toss from Elwiss through backward square-leg, only to play and miss at successive deliveries later in the over. Brunt’s pace is posing problems from the other end, but England have yet to make a breakthrough.
7:38am - DROPPED CHANCE - I say - that is a truly wonderful shot from Atapattu, one her namesake Marvan would certainly have been proud of; Elwiss drops short and is pulled over square-leg for six! Mendis then edges Brunt to first slip, but Heather Knight cannot hold on. The bowler’s frustration grows as Atapattu plays another excellent stroke, this time finding the extra-cover boundary.
7:30am - Lovely stuff from Brunt, who raps Chamari Atapattu on the front pad on three occasions in a terrific over yielding just one run.
7:25am - After being beaten by a beauty from Brunt (try saying that after a few sherbets), Yasoda Mendis unveils a marvellous straight drive that thunders down the ground for four. Sri Lanka end the second over, bowled by Georgia Elwiss, on eight without loss.
7:17am - The run-chase is about to begin. Let’s see how England’s bowlers get on. Katherine Brunt will send down the first over.
6:33am - END OF INNINGS - Eng 238/8 - Hazell gives the total an additional boost, claiming back-to-back fours en route to 19 not out from eight deliveries. Holly Colvin then finds the long-off rope to finish things off in style! An excellent effort from England’s lower order, who helped themselves to 79 runs in the final seven overs.
6:30am - WICKET! Brunt c Mendis b Siriwardene 12; Eng 223/8 - Brunt’s brief cameo comes to an end with a skier to mid-off.
6:28am - Katherine Brunt will soon get the chance to impress with the ball. For now, the quick bowler is making an impact with the bat, thumping Kaushalya over midwicket for six before scooping over fine-leg for four more! Danielle Hazell then clears mid-off and that makes it 18 from the penultimate over. These are very handy runs...
6:23am - WICKET! Jones b Siriwardene 41; Eng 203/7 - Jones misses out on a half-century as she is bowled advancing to Siriwardene.
6:19am - WICKET! Gunn c Manodara b Kaushalya 52; Eng 197/6 - Gunn edges past the wicketkeeper for four and then moves to 50 (69b 4x4 0x6) with a nudge into the leg side. The all-rounder is dropped at deep midwicket later in the over, but is caught behind aiming an agricultural mow at the next delivery. That is the end of a valuable innings.
6:16am - More aggression from Jones, who strikes fours through extra-cover, fine-leg and point in the 46th over. I really cannot praise the debutant highly enough; this has been a wonderful performance in challenging circumstances. England are now on course to cruise past 200.
6:07am - Jones narrowly avoids being run out after being sent back by Gunn, who then picks up her first four with a powerful sweep off Siriwardene. Successive off-side boundaries follow from Gunn when Ravikumar returns. This is exactly what England need!
5:58am - Only 15 runs from that powerplay I’m afraid, but England will surely look to force the pace from here on in. As I type that, Jones goes aerial over mid-off to collect four off Seneviratna. Terrific batting from the youngster!
5:53am - Over in Cuttack, Australia - one of the other fancied nations in this tournament - are struggling with the bat against Pakistan. England will still be hopeful of finishing their innings with a flourish at the Brabourne Stadium. Gunn and Jones are working hard between the wickets to make up for the lack of fours and sixes.
5:46am – Either side of a second drinks break, the first two overs of the powerplay pass by without major incident. The boundary drought continues, although it is difficult for Gunn and Jones to press down on the accelerator when they know they are the last specialist batters.
5:38am - The batting powerplay is enforced at the start of the 36th over with England 129 for five.
5:32am - It is fair to say this situation will prove a good test of character for Jones. England’s last boundary came in the 18th over and their progress has been stunted by the loss of Brindle and Knight. Can they make it past 200 I wonder?
5:24am – WICKET! Knight b Dolawatte 38; Eng 114/5 - The bustling Kaushalya returns to the attack before Sri Lanka pick up a key scalp. Knight’s 62-ball stay at the crease is brought to an end as she attempts to sweep a full delivery from Sandamali Dolawatte and succeeds only in playing on. In comes debutant Amy Jones.
5:15am - Knight has been joined by Jenny Gunn, another player boasting plenty of experience at the highest level. Patient accumulation remains the order of the day in Mumbai, although Gunn is disappointed as she fails to put away a looping full-toss from left-armer Sharina Ravikumar, one of four spinners used thus far.
5:04am - WICKET! Brindle run out 31; Eng 93/4 - Sri Lanka spurn one opportunity to run out Brindle, who was short of her ground as a throw flew past the stumps from midwicket. The miss does not prove costly; in the next over, Brindle looks for a second into the off side following a mis-field, only to be sent back by her partner. A dive is not enough to save England’s number three as the bails are removed at the non-striker’s end.
4:53am - On a slow pitch offering a fair amount of turn, Sri Lanka are benefiting from taking pace off the ball. England will not be too concerned by the steady nature of their progress as Brindle and Knight take their partnership past 50. It is crucial that wickets are kept in hand for the closing overs.
4:45am - Another scare for Brindle, who mis-judges a drive through extra-cover and is relieved to see the ball evade Sri Lanka’s fielders as it loops up into the air. The shot does bring four, however. After a drinks break, Brindle collects a boundary in more convincing fashion with a cut off Siriwardene.
4:36am – Shashikala Siriwardene, Sri Lanka’s captain, is into the attack. The spinner finds Brindle’s outside edge, but the ball flies to the right of slip and runs away for four. England are 61 for three after 16 overs.
4:32am - What was I saying about discipline? Weerakkody promptly strays down leg and concedes five wides! Knight then sweeps a ball from outside off stump to pick up her second four.
4:22am - As you might expect, Brindle and Knight are adopting a rather cautious approach as they seek to rebuild the innings. Aside from a couple of loose deliveries from Weerakkody early on, Sri Lanka’s bowlers have shown good discipline.
4:13am - Heather Knight is quickly into her work with a sweetly timed drive down the ground off Kaushalya. England need a partnership now.
4:04am - WICKET! Greenway lbw Seneviratna 2; Eng 29/3 - England will not be happy with their start ... and things get worse as off-spinner Seneviratna wins another lbw verdict, this time against Lydia Greenway.
3:57am - WICKET! Wyatt lbw Seneviratna 15; Eng 26/2 - An early sight of spin for England’s batters as Chamani Seneviratna enters the attack. Wyatt back-cuts for four, but is then trapped lbw pushing forward defensively to one that turned in from over the wicket.
3:50am - WICKET! Edwards b Kaushalya 9; Eng 22/1 - After a sedate start, Edwards gets going with two effortless fours off Kaushalya, the first courtesy of a push past mid-on and the second via a clip through square-leg. The bowler quickly gains revenge, bowling England’s captain with a full leg-side delivery that deflected on to the stumps off Edwards’ boot. Arran Brindle joins Wyatt.
3:45am - Kaushalya continues to operate with accuracy and sends down a maiden to Charlotte Edwards. Wyatt refuses to be tied down, however, and punishes another wide delivery from Weerakkody with a cross-batted swipe through point.
3:38am - Eshani Kaushalya finds a bit of away-swing in a tight first over. Danni Wyatt then picks up England’s first boundary with a crunching cover-driven four off Sripali Weerakkody. That was a superb shot.
3:30am – Charlotte Edwards and Danni Wyatt are out in the middle for England. Here we go!
3:27am – Sarah Taylor misses out today with a slight hamstring strain, so Warwickshire teenager Amy Jones makes her international debut behind the stumps. Laura Marsh is also absent for England with a minor groin injury; both she and Taylor have been left out as a precaution.
England: Charlotte Edwards (captain), Danni Wyatt, Arran Brindle, Lydia Greenway, Heather Knight, Jenny Gunn, Amy Jones, Katherine Brunt, Danielle Hazell, Holly Colvin, Georgia Elwiss.
Sri Lanka: Prasadani Weerakkody, Shashikala Siriwardene (captain), Chamari Atapattu, Deepika Rasangika, Yasoda Mendis, Dilani Manodara, Sripali Weerakkody, Eshani Kaushalya, Chamani Seneviratna, Sandamali Dolawatte, Sharina Ravikumar.
3:15am – The news from the middle is that Sri Lanka have won the toss and will bowl first. Play gets under way at 3:30am GMT and we will bring you the team news as soon as we get it.
3:10am – Good morning and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of England’s opening match in the 2013 ICC Women’s World Cup. Charlotte Edwards’ side begin the tournament as defending champions and favourites. Today they take on Sri Lanka at Mumbai’s Brabourne Stadium in the first of three pool games.