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Women's Cricket

Women's T20 World Cup: New Zealand thrash Sri Lanka to boost semifinal hopes

New Zealand crushed Sri Lanka by 102 runs in Paarl to ensure Group 1 at the Women’s T20 World Cup will go down to the wire.

New Zealand womens cricket team

New Zealand women's cricket team (Source: ICC)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 20 Feb 2023 4:57 AM GMT

New Zealand crushed Sri Lanka by 102 runs in Paarl to ensure Group 1 at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup will go down to the wire.

Suzie Bates and Amelia Kerr combined for a second wicket stand of 110, their nation’s third-highest ever at the tournament, to lift their side to an imposing 162 for three.

Sri Lanka were meek in reply, rolled for 60 to end their hopes of progression to the semi-finals, suffering the second-biggest defeat in T20 World Cup history in the process.

The White Ferns got the big net run rate swing they desired, meaning they climbed into second with South Africa facing Bangladesh on Tuesday in Group 1’s final game.

New Zealand preached positivity in the lead-up and Bernadine Bezuidenhout epitomised that approach, crushing a series of fours through the leg side when the bowling was too straight.

She raced to 32 from 20 balls but played one shot too many off Achini Kulasuriya, spooning a catch to Chamari Athapaththu at mid-off.

Bates and Kerr dropped anchor with the former picking up where she left off in the win over Bangladesh, piercing the field beautifully with the first two balls of the ninth over.

The pair didn’t score at an express pace but Kerr chose Athapaththu’s 13th over to accelerate, cover driving for four and then whipping through square leg to make it 93 for one.

Sri Lanka’s fielding was lacklustre - Bezuidenhout was given two early reprieves, Nilakshi de Silva shelling an easy chance to get Bates and a point blank run-out missed later on.

Kerr brought up her maiden T20I half-century off 40 balls and Bates her 24th in the closing stages.

The White Ferns rattled along to a fine total despite Bates being stumped for 56 and Kerr run out for 66 in the final over.

Sri Lanka coasted to 22 without loss in reply before capitulating.

Harshitha Samarawickrama holed out to deep midwicket off Eden Carson’s off-spin and then Bates took a stunner running back from mid-on to dismiss 17-year-old Vishmi Gunaratne for a duck.

Nilakshi de Silva swiped at a yorker and was clean bowled for a duck to leave Sri Lanka floundering on 24 for three.

Athapaththu briefly remained among the rubble but the hammer blow came when the captain was trapped in front by Amelia Kerr, given not out on field, a decision overturned on review.

The collapse continued when Anushka Sanjeewani chopped onto her stumps off Lea Tahuhu and the quick got another in her next over when Kavisha Dilhari patted to extra cover.

18-year-old Fran Jonas struck in her first over, bowling Oshadi Ranasinghe for three, and Sugandika Kumari was skilfully run out by Bezuidenhout at 48 for eight.

After a brief resistance from Malsha Shehani and Inoka Ranaweera, the former was bowled by the outstanding Amelia Kerr and Achini Kulasuriya not batting due to injury.

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