Another blistering half century from Chamari Athapaththu ensured that Sri Lanka beat Kenya by nine wickets in Kuala Lumpur.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl, but encountered a determined Kenyan batting line up. Two early run outs and the loss of captain Ngoche to Ranaweera set the Kenyans back in the power play.
Queentor Abel and Sarah Wetoto then combined for a fluent 45-run partnership. Abel was quick on her feet and clinical through the cover region, whilst Wetoto hit a number of lusty blows down the ground, including a huge six off Ranaweera in the twelfth over.
Unable to break the partnership, Chamari Athapaththu brought herself on and promptly had Abel plumb for a well-made 33 runs. It was Athapaththu’s 50th wicket across all formats in international cricket.
Wetoto was bowled by Nisansala in the next over, and Kenya only scored sixteen runs in their last four overs, losing three wickets.
Chasing 89 for victory, Sri Lanka’s openers set about their task in urgent fashion. Athapaththu deposited anything full to boundary with regularity and ease, whether over cover-point, square-leg, or mid-off.
Kenya had Athapaththu caught on the fence twice, but on both occasions the fielders stepped over the boundary line.
Esther Wachira did a jig and a somersault when she had Athapaththu stumped for 57 runs, but that was Kenya’s only joy, as Rajapaksa saw Sri Lanka through with more than ten overs to spare.
The tournament continues with a double-header today. Kenya take on Scotland, and Malaysia play Sri Lanka.
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