Three of India's top four made half-centuries - 19-year old Devika Vaidya top-scored with 89 in only her second ODI - as India beat hosts Sri Lanka by 114 runs in their first Women's World Cup Qualifier match at P Sara Oval. Captain Mithali Raj made 70 off 62 balls while opener Deepti Sharma started the procession with 54 off 96. These were especially good returns in light of India missing opener Smriti Mandhana due to injury.
Set a target of 260, Sri Lanka did well to reach 65 for 1 in the 23rd over but in an effort to push on, they lost seven wickets for 66 runs and were forced to shift their focus into playing out the 50 overs. Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad was India's best bowler with 10-2-19-2, and she was ably supported by fellow left-armer Ekta Bisht, who took 2 for 27.
"It's always good to start with a win," Raj said. "We'd started slowly in the match but Devika and Deepti put up a useful partnership to help increase the run rate. It was a good pitch to bat on and we enjoyed batting out there."
A fierce half-century from No. 6 Chloe Tryon headlined South Africa's victory over Pakistan by 63 runs. She made 79 off 69 balls with five fours and four sixes to lift the total from 129 for 5 in the 25th over to 258. "It's never nice coming in that situation," Tryon said after the match, "but I had to put my head down and graft a bit. And I felt like I gave myself enough time. I was very patient and I felt like I was really calm. I knew towards the end that I could pick the run rate up."
Pakistan's reply was led by Nain Abidi's 62 off 105 balls, but she barely had any support from the other end. The second highest score was 38 from captain Sana Mir.
South Africa opted to bat at the toss but they had to deal with the loss of regular wickets ever since they lost their first in the third over. Mignon du Preez, having recently relinquished leadership of the side, made 40 at No. 3 but it wasn't until Tryon came to the crease that they began to prosper. She strung a partnership of 89 for the sixth wicket with the new captain Dane van Niekerk.
Pakistan were in much the same position as South Africa in their chase - 110 for 5 in the 29th over - but their players could not summon the same firepower as Tryon. Abidi and Mir added 70 runs in 112 balls for the sixth wicket to make sure Pakistan at least were not all out.
"Our team has gone through a major transformation and the young players have done well," Mir said. "I am overall happy with the way the team is shaping up. It was a match where we started off really well, but an excellent innings by Tryon saw South Africa through."
Bangladesh defeated Papua New Guinea by 118 runs at the Colombo Cricket Ground. Fifties from Sharmin Akhter and Fargana Hoque helped Bangladesh put on 215 for 6 after they elected to bat, and then their bowlers put in a collective effort to roll PNG over for 97.
Akhter finished with 56 off 86 balls, while Hoque made 51 off 72. With those two having put on a solid platform, Bangladesh would have been looking at a larger total but PNG picked up four wickets for 39 runs to slow things down. They were unable to build on this effort though, conceding 57 runs in the final 10 overs and fared even worse when they came out to bat. Seven out of the 11 players fell for single-digit scores. Four of the five bowlers Bangladesh used took two wickets each, with Rumana Ahmed's 2 for 13 in seven overs the most economical of them.
Ireland were 42 for 2 in the 13th over after being put into bat, and it took a 94-run stand between Garth, who came in at No.3, and captain Laura Delany (47) to help set a platform. After Delany's dismissal, Garth put on 52 for the fifth wicket with Clare Shillingford (30 off 20) before they fell off consecutive deliveries to medium-pacer Josephine Nkomo (2-46).
Zimbabwe were bowled out for 118 in the chase. With a top score of 35 from Ashley Ndiraya and a best partnership of 32, they never stood a chance. Legspinner Ciara Metcalfe (3-38), seamer Amy Kenealy (2-19) and debutant left-arm spinner Robyn Lewis (2-7) were the wreckers-in-chief.