Chamari Athapaththu Ton Helps Sri Lanka Level Series Despite Laura Wolvaardt Brilliance

After South Africa set a total of 301/ after being sent in to bat first, before Sri Lanka chased the target down with 33 balls remaining to square the three-match ODI series 1-all in Potchefstroom on Wednesday, 17 April, 2024. Photo: Cricket South Africa/Gallo Images

In a historic performance, Chamari Athapaththu achieved a career-high score, leading Sri Lanka to a six-wicket victory over the Proteas Women, overshadowing Laura Wolvaardt’s personal best in a high-scoring final ICC Women’s Championship (2022-25) One-Day International (ODI) in Potchefstroom on Wednesday.

Athapaththu scored the third-highest individual score in Women’s ODI cricket, amassing 195* runs off 139 deliveries (26 fours, 5 sixes), well-supported by Nilakshika Silva (50 off 71; 3 fours). This came in a record-breaking response to South Africa’s formidable total of 301/5, propelled by Wolvaardt’s top score in ODIs (184* off 147 balls; 23 fours, 4 sixes).

Having won the toss, Sri Lanka opted to field first. South Africa made a strong start with openers Wolvaardt and Lara Goodall (31) reaching 46/0 in the powerplay. Wolvaardt accelerated, reaching a rapid half-century off 35 balls, including 24 runs off Kawya Kavindi’s (0/38) fourth over.

In an outstanding partnership, Wolvaardt and Goodall continued to flex their muscles out in the middle to help take South Africa into triple figures to reach the end of the 20th over on 111/0 before Kaveesha Dilhari (2/47) made the all-important breakthrough, removing Goodall, to end the 116-run stand for the first wicket.

The Sri Lankans didn’t have to wait too long for their next wicket as two dismissals arrived in quick succession with Delmi Tucker (1) and Suné Luus (0) departing via a run-out and an LBW off the bowling of Athapaththu (1/59) to leave South Africa 124/3 in the 25th over.

With the hosts three down, the experienced Marizanne Kapp (36) joined Wolvaardt at the crease as the pair continued their fine form from the previous match, combining for an innings-steadying 63 runs for the fourth wicket with Wolvaardt bringing up a second consecutive century and the seventh of her career.

With the home side’s tails up, a mix-up between the two in-batters then resulted in the run out of Kapp in the 35th over following a direct hit from Kavindi before the Proteas advanced to 200/4 after 38 overs.

On the back of Kapp’s departure, Wolvaardt found yet another willing partner in Nadine de Klerk (35) as the pair added a valuable 92-run stand for the fifth wicket to take South Africa to 279/4 before de Klerk became Dilhari’s second scalp of the afternoon.

South Africa eventually ended on a commanding 301/5 after their 50 overs, with Wolvaardt carrying her bat.

In response, Sri Lanka began steadily, with Vishmi Gunaratne (26) and Athapaththu forming a solid opening partnership. They reached 55/0 after 10 overs before Tucker (1/42) dismissed Gunaratne. 

South Africa continued to pick up wickets, with de Klerk (1/59) removing Prasadani Weerakkody (4), and Ayabonga Khaka (2/54) claiming two quick wickets to mark her 100th cap in ODI cricket.

However, Athapaththu led the charge for Sri Lanka, anchoring the innings with an unbeaten 195*. A vital partnership of 179 runs with Silva guided Sri Lanka to victory with 33 balls to spare. Athapaththu was awarded the Player of the Match for her outstanding performance.

Additionally, Wolvaardt received the Player of the Series award for her exceptional batting throughout the series, accumulating 335 runs in three matches, including two centuries.

Fixtures and Results – South Africa Inbound Tour vs Sri Lanka 2023/24 

Sri Lanka Win the T20 International Series 2-1

Wed 27 Mar: 1st T20I – South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 79 runs
Sat 30 Mar: 2nd T20I – South Africa lost to Sri Lanka by 7 wickets (7 balls rem.)
Wed 3 Apr: 3rd T20I – South Africa lost Sri Lanka by 4 wickets (5 balls rem.)

South African and Sri Lanka Share the ICC Women’s ODI Championship Series 1-All

Tue 9 Apr: 1st ODI – Match Drawn (Buffalo Park, East London)
Sat 13 Apr: 2nd ODI – South Africa beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets (14 balls rem.) (Diamond Oval, Kimberley)
Wed 17 Apr, 14h00: 3rd ODI – Sri Lanka beat South Africa by 6 wickets (33 balls rem.) (JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom)

Proteas Women Playing XI for the Third ODI

Laura Wolvaardt (Captain)
Lara Goodall
Delmi Tucker
Suné Luus
Marizanne Kapp
Nadine de Klerk
Eliz-Mari Marx
Sinalo Jafta (WK)
Ayabonga Khaka
Masabata Klaas
Nonkululeko Mlaba

The Sri Lanka Playing XI for the Third ODI

Vishmi Gunaratne
Chamari Athapaththu (Captain)
Prasadini Weerakkody (WK)
Hansima Karunaratne
Kavisha Dilhari
Nilakshi de Silva
Oshadi Ranasinghe
Inoka Ranaweera
Sugandika Kumari
Imesha Dulani
Kawya Kavindi

Original Copy: Cricket South Africa, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: After South Africa set a total of 301/ after being sent in to bat first, before Sri Lanka chased the target down with 33 balls remaining to square the three-match ODI series 1-all in Potchefstroom on Wednesday, 17 April, 2024.  Photo: Cricket South Africa/Gallo Images

Photo 2 Caption: After being invited to bat first, opener Laura Wolvaardt struck an undefeated 184 off 147 balls to take SA to 301/5.  Photo: Cricket South Africa/Gallo Images

Photo 3 Caption: Sri Lanka opener Chamari Athapaththu replied with her unbeaten 195 off 139 balls to take Sri Lanka to the win. Photo: Cricket South Africa/Gallo Images

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