Siriwardene helps SL level series
Sri Lanka Women 138 for 5 (Jayangani 39, Kapp 3-18) beat South Africa Women 118 for 8 (Siriwardene 2-16) by 20 runs
Sri Lanka Women levelled their Twenty20 series against South Africa Women with a 20-run victory in Potchefstroom with their captain, Shashikala Siriwardene, to the fore.
A solid top-order display from the visitors carried them to 138 for 5 and South Africa's chase slipped after a brisk start in the six-over Powerplay. Allrounder Siriwardene earned the Player of the Match award for her key spell which brought the wickets of Mignon du Preez and Marizanne Kapp following an innings of 30.
Sri Lanka's openers, Chamari Atapattu and Lasanthi Madushani, provided early impetus as they added 71 in eight overs before South Africa clawed back the run rate. However, Siriwardene ensured the scoreboard kept ticking over.
Lizelle Lee struck four boundaries early in South Africa's reply, but when she was caught behind off Sripali Weerakkody the balance of power started to shift.
The result was the perfect 40th birthday present for Sri Lanka's coach Jeevantha Kulathunga's. "You can't expect anything more than this on your birthday. It's our first win in the series and I'm very happy," he said. "It's really good for the team to experience winning so that they can want to win even more. To be the best, you have to beat the best and now they know what it's like. We will leave this behind now and concentrate on the final, the true celebration will happen when we take that trophy home."
Siriwardena, meanwhile, was delighted that a few changes had worked. "We played with two batting changes and they worked out really well," she said. "The bowlers did their job well and I think that we won because of the opening partnership between Chamari and Lasanthi."