GROS ISLET, St Lucia, CMC – South Africa thrashed Sri Lanka by seven wickets here late Monday night, to make a winning start to the ICC Women’s Twenty20 World Cup.
Asked to chase a modest 100 for victory at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium, the Proteas women safely navigated their way to victory with nine balls remaining in the Group A contest.
Marizanne Kapp top-scored with 38 not out while Dane van Niekerk ended unbeaten on 33, the pair posting 67 for the third wicket to rescue the innings which lay in turmoil at six for two in the second over.
Sri Lanka had earlier been restricted to 99 for eight off their 20 overs after they were sent in with the threat of rainy weather around.
The innings was slumping at 26 for three in the eighth over before Shashikala Siriwardana (21) and Dilani Manodara (20) arrived to bolster the scoring.
Openers Chamari Athapaththu (3) and Yashoda Mendis (1) both fell cheaply with the score on five but Siriwardana kept the runs coming in a knock which came from 27 deliveries and included two fours and a six.
Once she fell in the 12th over, Sri Lanka slipped further to 67 for six in the 17th over before Manodara and Eshani Lokusooriyage (9) put on 31 off 18 balls for the seventh wicket to accelerate the innings.
Manodara struck four fours in a breezy 12-ball knock while seamer Shabnim Ismail finished with three for 10 to be named Player-of-the-Match.
South Africa found themselves in early trouble in their reply when Laura Wolvaardt missed a drive and was bowled by left-arm seamer Udeshika Prabodani in the first over for four, and opening partner Lizelle Lee (1) nicked an out-swinger from pacer Sripali Weerakkody and was taken behind.
But Kapp faced 44 balls and counted four fours and a six while captain van Niekerk hit two boundaries in a 45-ball knock, to set up the win for South Africa.