Sri Lanka v West Indies, Women's World Cup, Derby July 9, 2017

Aguilleira, spinners hand West Indies first win

West Indies women 229 for 9 (Aguilleira 46*, Dottin 38, Sripali Weerakkoddy 3-38, Kanchana 2-50) beat Sri Lanka women 182 (Siriwardene 33, Anisa 3-39, Daley 2-30) by 47 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Anisa Mohammed swung the match West Indies' way with three wickets in nine balls © Getty Images

Sri Lanka paid a hefty price for letting West Indies off the hook from a vulnerable position as their quest for a first win in this Women's World Cup continued. Having looked on course to restrict West Indies to well under 200, they allowed their opponents to mount a late recovery through Merissa Aguilleira, who top scored with an unbeaten 46. It meant West Indies batted out their 50 overs for the first time in this tournament and put up 229, a total that proved 47 too many for Sri Lanka on a Derby surface that got considerably slower as the game progressed.

It wasn't as if Sri Lanka bowled badly. In fact, their spinners held West Indies back by finding turn consistently. But it was in the simpler, more basic aspects that let them down. On a pitch that demanded application, West Indies showed a serious lack of it, attempting extravagant strokes and gift-wrapping their wickets. Sri Lanka, though, were generous in returning the favour, a series of misfields, dropped catches and fluffed stumping chances towards the latter stages allowing West Indies to claw back.

Rather unsurprisingly, West Indies opened the chase with a spinner; they would use five of them through the course of the innings - Deandra Dottin offering the only spell of pace - to snuff out Sri Lanka's reply in 48 overs.

The slide started close to the halfway mark when Anisa Mohammed struck twice in the 24th over, deceiving Chamari Attapattu, Sri Lanka's best batsman, in the air to have her stumped and followed that with the wicket of Dilani Manodara with a flat delivery. The lbw decision looked doubtful, with replays suggesting the ball may have missed the stumps; Manodara seemed to indicate as much as she walked off.

Then in her next over, Anisa undid Shashikala Siriwardene, also looking for a slog, with a lack of pace to rattle her stumps. From 84 for 2, Sri Lanka had lost three wickets for five runs. West Indies didn't look back from there on.

The only period of Sri Lankan stability had come either side of that collapse. First, Atapattu and Siriwardene offset the early loss of Sri Lanka's openers with a 61-run third-wicket stand. Then, after Anisa had scythed through the middle order, Prasadani Weerakkody and Oshadi Ranasinghe put on 42 - Sri Lanka's next highest partnership - for the sixth wicket.

But like when they fielded, Sri Lanka threw the good work away, when Weerakkody hesitated momentarily on a single to be run out off a direct hit at the wicketkeeper's head. It had been yet another moment of negligence, on a day full of them for Sri Lanka. At the end, their errors had all added up substantially.

West Indies' batsmen hadn't been all that pretty when they batted either. Aided by a light tinge of green on the pitch, Udeshika Prabodhani and Sripali Weerakkody got the new ball to nibble around just enough to repeatedly leave the West Indies openers flummoxed. Weerakkody found a breakthrough when Hayley Matthews attempted an ugly heave against one that angled into her and pinged her in front of middle. Off her next over, she had Stafanie Taylor, the West Indies captain, pushing away from the body to eke out an outside edge to the keeper.

It wasn't until the arrival of Dottin that the first signs of fightback emerged. Memories of Dottin's last innings against Sri Lanka in a World Cup, when she slammed joint-fastest half-century in women's ODIs, were afresh. For a good half hour on Sunday, she threatened to raze them again, unfurling a series of furious straight boundaries.

When it was pitched up, she used her feet and crashed powerful drives through mid-off and mid-on, and anything on a length invited a flat-batted thump that would have beaten the best of fielders inside the circle. In all, she collected five of her fours through that region. When she finally fell, it was to her own undoing, attempting a reverse paddle off the Sri Lankan captain Inoka Ranaweera.

Aguilleira then provided an expert display of batting on a slow pitch, and did so with the heart of the batting having already been ripped out. Not only did she keep the score ticking along, her calm, steadying hand also inspired Kyshona Knight and Shanel Daley into producing cameos of 26 and 21 respectively. Aguilleira finished with 46 unbeaten runs, and only eight of those runs had come via boundaries.

Sri Lanka's lackadaisical display on the field was summed up by the performance of their wicketkeeper Prasadani. In the 13th over, she missed a straightforward run out chance of Kycia Knight choosing to throw the ball at the stumps despite standing inches away from it. Two overs later, she failed to gather an edge from Nation after moving down the wrong line. Then, in the 35th over, she spilled the ball with the other Knight - Kyshona - outside the crease having been beaten on the outside edge by Ranasinghe.

None of the three batsmen made a substantial score, but the three chances cost Sri Lanka 31 runs. Along with the other misfields and lapses, it was a tally that made a telling difference.

Akshay Gopalakrishnan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Michael on July 12, 2017, 17:38 GMT

    Well done D D and well done team.

  • Sugath on July 10, 2017, 4:20 GMT

    To think that a team who could not score more than 50 runs in a previous match in this tournament beat Lankan ladies tells something. The men are losing to Zimbabwe and Women to West Indies. So the flaw is not with players but with the administration and the selectors. Until that is sorted out Sri Lanka will slide badly in both men's and women's cricket.

  • Tracey on July 9, 2017, 18:58 GMT

    Water always finds its level. Well done West Indies LADIES!

  • Claudia on July 9, 2017, 16:47 GMT

    Well done West Indies women on your first win.

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