New Zealand Women's tour of Sri Lanka: Series Digest

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Suzie Bates anchored the chase in the 2nd T20I with a patient 52
Suzie Bates anchored the chase in the 2nd T20I with a patient 52 © Getty

All the reports and updates from New Zealand Women's tour of the Sri Lanka 2023. You can view the full tour schedule here

July 10 - 2nd T20I, Colombo

Lea Tahuhu claimed a four-fer (4-21) and Suzie Bates hit a steady half-century as New Zealand bounced back from the ODI series defeat to clinch the T20Is with a game to spare. New Zealand chased down a modest score of 118 with eight wickets and an equal number of deliveries remaining.

Put into bat, the hosts were left reeling early as they slipped to 14/3 after 3.1 overs. Among the three batters to fall was Chamari Athapaththu, who was run-out. Sri Lanka recovered but at a very sedate pace with Hasini Perera making a 36-ball 33. Impetus, if any, came right at the end through keeper-bat Anushka Sanjeewani, who hit a 13-ball 18 to give the total some respectability.

New Zealand barely broke sweat in chase once their openers put on 48 in eight overs. Melie Kerr (33) added another 59 for the second wicket with half-centurion Bates but the latter fell just 12 short of victory, which was achieved a couple of overs later.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka Women 118/6 in 20 overs (Hasini Perera 33; Lea Tahuhu 4-21) lost to New Zealand Women 119/2 in 18.4 overs (Suzie Bates 52; Inoka Ranaweera 1-28) by eight wickets.

July 8 - 1st T20I, Colombo

On the back of a fine display from their spinners and a matured knock from Suzie Bates, New Zealand went 1-0 up in the three-match T20I series with a comfortable five-wicket win at Colombo. Opting to bowl, the visitors got the much-needed breakthrough of Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu off the very first ball of the game to off spinner Eden Carson. It set the tone for things to come as the White Ferns spin trio of Carson, Melie Kerr and Leigh Kasperek choked the life out of Sri Lanka's innings which struggled for impetus throughout. Vishmi Gunaratne got a decent start while cameos from Anushka Sanjeewani and Oshadi Ranasinghe helped the hosts to get past the three-figure mark.

The score was comfortably 15-20 runs short of a respectable score and only early wickets could have prevented New Zealand from cruising the chase. Udeshika Prabodhani did provide an early strike by dislodging Bernadine Bezuidenhout but Bates anchored the innings along with Kerr who followed her probing spell with a notable batting contribution as well. The duo's 58-run stand all but sealed the result and although there was a mini-collapse of sorts, the result was never in doubt.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 106/9 in 20 overs (Vishmi Gunaratne 26; Melie Kerr 2-19, Eden Carson 2-20) lost to New Zealand 107/5 in 18.5 overs (Suzie Bates 44, Melie Kerr 34; Inoshi Priyadharshani 3-17) by five wickets

July 3 - 3rd ODI, Galle

Skipper Chamari Athapaththu was the star yet again as Sri Lanka converted their maiden ODI win over New Zealand into a historic first-ever series win against the White Ferns in another rain-hampered contest. Athapaththu hammered an unbeaten 140 - her second ton of the series - to help the hosts chase down a revised target of 196 with 8 wickets and 13 balls to spare.

Rain arrived when New Zealand were in recovery mode. Suzie Bates, with her unbeaten 63, had cautiously forged a vital partnership of 74 with captain Sophie Devine (38*) to take the visitors to a respectable 127/2 by the end of 31st over when a long spell of rain ended their innings.

Sri Lanka didn't make the most memorable start in the chase, losing two wickets inside four overs. But the home team's captain led from the front as she hit another belligerent century in the series - this time off just 60 deliveries - to keep her side cruising. She had Nilakshi de Silva for company (48*) as the pair stitched a series-clinching 190-run unbroken stand. Athapaththu, the aggressor, hit as many as nine sixes and 13 fours in her 80-ball knock, comfortably sweeping both the Player of the Match and Series awards.

Brief scores: New Zealand Women 127/2 in 31 overs (Suzie Bates 63*, Sophie Devine 38*; Oshadi Ranasinghe 1-22) lost to Sri Lanka Women 196/2 in 26.5 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 140*, Nilakshi de Silva 48*; LEa Tahuhu 1-29) by 8 wickets (DLS method; target revised to 196 from 29 overs)

June 30 - 2nd ODI, Galle

New Zealand came back strongly after a shock defeat in the opening one-dayer, producing a dominant performance with the bat that setup a 111-run victory. Leading the charge after electing to bat was the pair of Sophie Devine and Melie Kerr, who put on a 229-run stand for the third wicket after the openers departed rather cheaply.

Both Devine and Kerr scored hundreds at faster than a run-a-ball, the former even kicking on the make 137. The visitors stumbled a touch at the end of their innings but still ended with an above par 329/7.

The writing was on the wall for Sri Lanka once their star batter and centurion from the last game Chamari Athapaththu fell for a golden duck. Lea Tahuhu added to that prized scalp by claiming three more to finish with figures of 4 for 31 while a modicum of respectability to the total was added by Kavisha Dilhari's 84.

Brief scores: New Zealand Women 329/7 in 50 overs (Sophie Devine 137, Melie Kerr 108; Oshadi Ranasinghe 3-68) beat Sri Lanka Women 218 in 48.4 overs (Kavisha Dilhari 84; Lea Tahuhu 4-31, Eden Carson 2-41) by 111 runs.

June 27 - 1st ODI, Galle

Skipper Chamari Athapaththu led Sri Lanka to a comprehensive 9-wicket thrashing of New Zealand Women - their first against White Ferns in any format - in the ODI series opener on Tuesday. Home team's spinners laid the groundwork, restricting the visitors to 170/5 in the rain-affected 28-overs-a-side contest before a record 159-run partnership between openers Athapaththu and Vishmi Gunaratne (50) helped Sri Lanka over the line with nine wickets and an over to spare.

Athapaththu's unbeaten 108 came off just 83 balls - her 7th ODI ton was up in just 79 - but not before her counterpart had managed a late, futile breakthrough for New Zealand. Sophie Devine ended Gunaratne's knock soon after the fifty but Sri Lanka were cruising. Fittingly, Athapaththu hit a six to level the scores before wrapping up the proceedings in the penultimate over itself.

Earlier, it was 60-run second-wicket stand between Suzie Bates and Melie Kerr that had helped NEw Zealand recover, after they opted to bat first and lost Bernadine Bezuidenhout for a run-a-ball 13. The pair, however, fell in quick succession but MAddy Green's 32-ball 39 and a 63-run stand with Georgia Plimmer gave them a respectable 170/5 on the board.

Brief scores: New Zealand Women 170/5 in 28 overs (Melie Kerr 40, Maddy Green 39; Sugandhika Kumari 1-28) lost to Sri Lanka Women 175/1 in 27 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 111*, Vishmi Gunaratne 50) by 9 wickets (DLS method)




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