Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu led from the front as Sri Lanka recorded a commanding 93-run win in the third and final ICC Women’s Champion-ship match at the Southend Club, Karachi on Sunday.
Pakistan won the series 2-1 courtesy of their eight-wicket and 73-run win in the first two matches.
At the end of the series, Pakistan occupy the top-spot in the ICC Women’s Championship 2022-25 cycle with four points from three games, Sri Lanka collected two points from their win today – this series was the first in the new championship cycle which will determine the six qualifying spots (top five plus the host) for the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2025.
Today’s win was Sri Lanka’s lone victory in their first tour of Pakistan in 17 years, before the ODIs, the visitors had lost the T20I series by a 0-3 margin.
Set a 261-run target, Pakistan were pegged back after a decent start. The hosts slumped from 41 for no loss to 48 for four in nine overs and never recovered from the mini collapse.
Second ODI centurion Sidra Amin (19) was the first to go. Her opening partner Muneeba Ali (16) was run out while captain Bismah Maroof (0) and Nida Dar (5) were dismissed in quick succession as Sri Lankan bowlers tightened the screws.
Omaima Sohail fought hard for her 40 off 61 balls (four fours) but her dismissal in the 28th over further increase Pakistan woes. Sidra Nawaz (7) and Fatima Sana (12) were dismissed in the search of quick runs as the required run-rate mounted. Diana Baig (0) was run out without facing a ball.
Aliya Riaz stood firm at one end with a fighting half-century (sixth of her career), she was the ninth batter dismissed in an attempt of clearing the boundary. The right-hander hit four fours in her 56 off 82 balls.
Athapaththu capped off a brilliant day in the field with a two-wicket contribution with the ball in her six overs. Oshadi Ranasinghe took two wickets while three batters were run out.
Sri Lanka sealed their win with Anam Amin’s wicket in the 42nd over. Earlier, Athapaththu who had struggled to get going on the tour finally dis-played her immense batting prowess with a scintil-lating century to set a solid platform for her side’s imposing total after she won the toss and opted to bat first for the fifth time on the tour (three T2oIs, first and third ODI).
The left-hander posted the sixth century of her career off the 82nd ball of her innings, her blazing innings was punctuated with 13 fours and a six and she fell shortly after for 101 with Nida Dar dismiss-ing her in the 31st over of the innings, Sri Lanka were 156 at that stage.
Athapaththu is the only century maker for Sri Lanka in the ODI format and her innings today once again proved her immense value to country’s women cricket.
She took the attack to the Pakistan bowlers after the early loss of her opening partner Hasini Perera (3) and Hansima Karunaratne (0). The two were back in the dressing room with a mere four runs on the board in two overs.
Athapaththu found an able partner in Harshitha Madavi, the duo added 152 for the third-wicket. After Athapaththu’s departure, Madavi kept the scoreboard moving for Sri Lanka. She was eventu-ally dismissed in the 44th over for 75 off 128 balls (three fours). Madavi added 60 for the fourth-wicket with Kavisha Dilhari (28).—APP