Recent Match Report – NZ WMN vs SL WMN 17th Match, Group 1 2022/23

New Zealand 162 for 3 (A Kerr 66, Bates 56) won Sri Lanka 60 (A Kerr 2-7, Tahuhu 2-12) by 102 runs

New Zealand beat Sri Lanka so soundly in each team’s final group stage match in Paarl that they canceled out Sri Lanka’s blistering start to the tournament and gave themselves a chance to qualify for the next stage despite their own low performance. their first two games.

Claiming a 102-run victory, built on stunning half-centuries from Amelia Kerr, who scored 66 for 48, and Suzie Bates, who made 56 for 49, New Zealand easily eclipsed Sri Lanka’s net run rate ( NRR). Both teams have four points but Sri Lanka NRR now finish with a dismal -1.46. New Zealand are at 0.138, although that won’t be enough if hosts South Africa beat Bangladesh on Tuesday.

But Sri Lanka are out of contention despite pulling off an upset in South Africa to start their tournament, before also beating Bangladesh. They have never made it out of the group stage in a T20 World Cup.

New Zealand’s 162 for 3 was made possible by Sri Lanka’s repeated mistakes in the field – at least two missed chances and as many missed chances. But it was not an unattainable score until Sri Lanka’s top order crashed and burned in the space of 4.5 overs – the first five wickets falling to add 13 runs.

The collapse continued and Sri Lanka were all out for 60 inside 16 overs. Seamer Achini Kulasuriya, who appeared to have badly injured her shoulder while delivering her third over, was unable to bat.

Kerr and Bates dominate

Bates and Kerr’s 110-run second-wicket partnership, which came from 83 deliveries, was central to their victory. Bates was the quietest of the New Zealand openers in the powerplay, letting Bernadine Bezuidenhout create the early momentum with her 32 off 20 balls. But in Kerr’s company, he began to settle into a meaningful innings. He hit Kavisha Dilhari for back-to-back fours – one from deep third, the other from deep mid-wicket – in the ninth over, and appeared particularly at home at the crease.

Kerr, meanwhile, looked comfortable from the start. She hit her third ball – off the experienced Inoka Ranaweera – on the boundary, and cruised through the middle overs, only crossing the occasional boundary on a pitch not particularly suited to big runs. At the end of the 14th over, he was 31 from 29, and then began to attack more seriously, often finding boundaries in front of the square as he muscled the Sri Lankan leg-side bowlers with particular relish.

Both were dismissed in the final over, but although they hadn’t hit a six between them, they had done enough damage.

Sri Lanka’s pitiful pitch

Sri Lanka should have had Bezuidenhout out for 7 when he was run out at mid-on in the third over. But Kulasuriya’s throw from backward square leg was audacious and keeper Anushka Sanjeewani couldn’t collect it.

Bezuidenhout should also have been out two overs later for 19 had Harshitha Samarawickrama held a catch at deep mid off off the bowling of Malsha Shehani. But she let the simple opportunity slip through her fingers.

Bates was also a benefactor of Sri Lankan grandeur. She was dropped to 37 by Nilakshi de Silva – a chance to ski until mid-fall. Then in the 16th over, on 41, he could have been out again, either the middle-order bowler or the bowler who collected the ball made more accurate shots.

But the pressure created by the Sri Lankan bowlers did not translate into wickets because of their pitch.

The catastrophic collapse costs SL

Although New Zealand had made more runs than they should have on a difficult surface, the target of 163 was not entirely beyond Sri Lanka, especially if their openers went their way. He didn’t either. Sri Lanka hit just one boundary in the powerplay as Jess Kerr, Hannah Rowe and Eden Carson bowled very early overs.

And once the gates started to drop, they went fast. Harshitha was caught at deep midwicket, trying to seal her first boundary after a disappointing start. Vishmi Gunaratne was next when Bates completed a spectacular catch running behind mid-on. De Silva was hit leg stump by a Jess Kerr Giorgi.

And when captain Athapaththu was out for 19 in the seventh over, pounding on the review against a straighter delivery from Amelia Kerr, Sri Lanka were always going to struggle.

Had they reached 123, they could have finished ahead of New Zealand in the NRR and given themselves some chance of making the semi-finals. But the Sri Lankan middle-order had not scored significant runs even in their victories. Here, too, they fell quickly.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

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