Athapaththu 91, Nisansala five-for help Sri Lanka seal 3-0 win

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka 275 for 6 (Athapaththu 91, Nilakshika 63, Ramharack 2-46) beat West Indies 115 all out (Nation 46, Nisansala 5-28) by 160 runs

Chasing Sri Lanka’s score of 275 for 6 – their third-highest total in ODIs – West Indies struggled to get going as both Rashada Williams and skipper Shemaine Campbell were dislodged inside the first six overs.

Chedean Nation and Stafanie Taylor then strung together the innings’ only partnership of note as the pair put on 57 off 82 deliveries, steadily chipping away at the target, only for Taylor to edge one behind off the miserly Oshadi Ranasinghe. Nation, who had looked in control during her 57-ball 46, might have harboured hopes of putting on similar stands with the middle and lower order, but Athapaththu put paid to any such notions when she skid one past Nation’s outside edge to clip off stump.

Suddenly West Indies were teetering at 69 for 4, at which point Nisansala took over. She had been the most expensive of Sri Lanka’s bowlers last time out, but here her slow left-arm orthodox proved extremely effective, particularly on a surface that offered a good amount of grip and turn.

Zaida James was trapped leg before to one that skidded on, while Chinelle Henry, Afy Fletcher and Qiana Joseph all fell looking to hit out. The five-for was complete when Aaliyah Alleyne (27 off 27) chipped one back to Nisansala, bringing to an end her cameo.

Earlier, having been put into bat, the Sri Lankan opening pair of Athapaththu and Vishmi Gunaratne took the attack to the West Indian bowlers in a stand of 93. Gunaratne fell six runs short of her half century miscuing an attempted loft to Alleyne at mid-off.

Two more wickets in quick succession saw the backs of Harshitha Samarawickrama and Hansima Karunaratne, but Athapaththu was still at the crease to bring the game back under control with 57-run partnership with Nilakshika.

The Sri Lanka captain eventually fell for a 106-ball 91, as Fletcher spun one through bat and pad. At that point Sri Lanka were 156 for 4 after 34.1 overs, and their primary power hitter was back in the dressing room. But if the West Indies were hoping to reel themselves back into the game, Nilakshika and Sanjeewani were not willing to play ball, as the pair proceeded to plunder 117 runs in a 93-ball fifth wicket partnership – Sri Lanka’s second highest for the fifth wicket. Sri Lanka ended up scoring 93 off the final 10 overs; Sanjeewani (55 off 46) and Nilakshika (63 off 78) eventually fell in the final over, but by then the damage was well and truly done.

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