India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh register big wins
India began the Super Sixes stage of the Women's World Cup Qualifier with a comfortable 49-run win against South Africa in Colombo. Mithali Raj and Mona Meshram struck fifties to propel India's score to 205. In reply, South Africa were bowled out for 156 as fast bowler Shikha Pandey and left-arm spinner Ekta Bisht combined for seven wickets.
After India were inserted, opener Deepti Sharma was dismissed in the 12th over for 9 off 38 balls. Meshram and Raj then shared a 96-run stand to set a platform for the end overs. South Africa ensured they kept India in control by picking up regular wickets. India managed to score just 93 runs in the final 20 overs. South Africa were quickly reduced to 8 for 2 in the fifth over, and were always behind the asking rate thereon. Trisha Chetty top-scored with an 81-ball 52. Pandey returned figures of 4 for 34.
Eshani Lokusuriyage's 65 and contributions from the top order ensured Sri Lanka cruised past the target of 213 against Pakistan with five wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare. Nipuni Hansika (37) and Chamari Atapattu (35) set the tone with a 75-run opening stand, before Pakistan hit back with three wickets in the space of eight overs. Prasadani Weerakkody struck 45 off 71 balls and shared an 88-run partnership with Lokusuriyage.
Pakistan were helped along to 212 with fifties from Nahida Khan (64) and Javeria Khan (63). The pair shared a 119-run stand off 171 balls. Pakistan, too, lost a cluster of wickets in the end overs, stalling the momentum from the innings. Inoka Ranaweera and Chamari Polgampola added two wickets apiece.
Bangladesh Women skittled Ireland Women for 144 and cruised to a seven-wicket win in their first Super Six match at the Colombo Cricket Ground.
Jahanara Alam led the way with figures of 3 for 21 after Bangladesh inserted Ireland. She removed Cecelia Joyce and Kim Garth in successive overs to reduce Ireland to 15 for 2 inside nine overs. Panna Ghosh, Rumana Ahmed, Khadija Tul Kubra proceeded to make further inroads into the Ireland line-up. Salma Khatun was also among the wickets as Ireland were bowled out in 47.1 overs. Their major source of resistance came from Clare Shillington and captain Laura Delany, who struck 37 each. Apart from them, only Isobel Joyce passed 20.
The Sharmins - Sultana and Akhter - gave Bangladesh a solid start in their chase with a 40-run partnership. The stand ended when Gaby Lewis got rid of Sultana for 22 at the end of the 15th over. Sanjida Islam then fell cheaply, but Akhter ate into target with a half-century before exiting in the 30th over. Fargana Hoque and Rumana eventually sealed the win in the 40th over with an unbroken 39-run stand.