Pace bowler Shabnim Ismail set the ball rolling for group favourite South Africa with an early wicket to set the tone for a third consecutive victory in the 10-team tournament from which four will qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 and the ICC Women’s Championship, while all entrants to the Super Six stage will be assured of ODI status for the next four-year cycle.
Shabnim Ismail: “It was a good toss to lose because we got a lot of help from the pitch early on. The ball was seaming a lot in my first three overs but during my second spell there was no help, so I used a lot of variations with my slower balls. The momentum is with our team and we want to keep going like this and through to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017.”
Another match in the same group was a close affair as Scotland defeated Papua New Guinea by seven runs.
Pace bowler Pauke Siaka helped restrict Scotland to 169 in 50 overs with a haul of six for 19 that included those of the two top scorers – Rachel Scholes (35) and Elizabeth Priddle (31).
Papua New Guinea was 139 for six after 46.5 overs but Kari Anderson, Priyanaz Chatterji and Kirstie Gordon shared the last four wickets to stifle the chase. Brenda Tau (46) and Tanya Runa (32) were the notable contributors for the losing side.
Meanwhile, host Sri Lanka and Ireland closed in on Super Six berths with India having already qualified from Group A. Equations could come into the picture only in the unlikely scenario of Zimbabwe beating India and Sri Lanka losing to Thailand, in which case Sri Lanka, Ireland and Zimbabwe will all be tied on four points.
Sri Lanka completed its second win in three matches, a convincing eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe.
Captain Inoka Ranaweera grabbed four for 18 with her left-arm spin to help dismiss Zimbabwe for 149 in 50 overs while experienced batters Chamari Athapaththu (58) and Prasadani Weerakkody (33 not out) took the team to its target with over 13 overs to spare.
Inoka Ranaweera: “This was an important win, and I’m glad the entire team delivered. Chamari coming to form was important for us, hope she gets better from here. She is one of the top players of the world. We hope to continue doing well in the next game against Thailand. As for me, I focussed on sticking to the right line and length today.”
Ireland scored a 46 runs win over Thailand.
All-rounder Kim Garth missed out on a century as she was run out off the penultimate ball of the innings for 98 with nine fours and one six. She added 106 runs for the third wicket with captain Laura Delany (50) to boost the score to 218 for seven.
Thailand fought bravely to score 172 for nine with Narraya Boochatham (44) and captain Sornnarin Tippoch (42) getting the bulk of the runs. Medium-pacers Lucy O’Reilly (three for 28), Amy Kenealy (two for 12) and 37-year-old leg-spinner Ciara Metcalfe (two for 25) helped complete the win.
Scores in brief:Group A
Ireland beat Thailand by 46 runs at Colombo Cricket Club
Ireland 218-7 in 50 overs (Kim Garth 98, Laura Delany 50, Ratanaporn Padunglerd 2-25, Suleeporn Laomi 2-56).
Thailand172-9 in 50 overs (Nattaya Boochatham 44, Sornnarin Tippoch 42, Lucy O’Reilly 3-28, Ciara Metcalfe 2-25, Amy Kenealy 2-12).
Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by eight wickets at Nondescripts Cricket Club
Zimbabwe 149 in 50 overs (Mary Ann Masonda 32, Precious Marange 29 not out, Inoka Ranaweera 4-18, Chamari Polgampola 2-21, Chamari Athapaththu 2-21).
Sri Lanka 153-2 in 36.5 overs (Chamari Athapaththu 58, Prasadani Weerakkody 33 not out, Loren Tshuma 2-31)
South Africa beat Bangladesh by six wickets at P. Sara Oval
Bangladesh 100 all out in 46.5 overs (Rumana Ahmed 39, Shabnim Ismail 3-14, Sune Luus 3-17, Dane van Niekerk 2-22).
South Africa 101-4 in 25.2 overs (Lizelle Lee 34, Laura Wolvaardt 30,
Scotland beat PNG by seven runs at Mercantile Cricket Association
Scotland 169 all out in 50 overs (Rachel Scholes 35, Elizabeth Priddle 31, Pauke Siaka 6-19).
Papua New Guinea (162 all out in 50 overs, Brenda Tau 46, Tanya Ruma 32, Kari Anderson 3-35, Priyanaz Chatterji 2-22, Kirstie Gordon 2-27).