West Indies’ women’s cricketers were bailed out by their bowlers as they overcame a batting collapse to beat Sri Lanka by 31 runs in the final One-day International and clinch the four-match series yesterday.
Opting to bat first at the R Premadasa Stadium, West Indies stumbled and stuttered from the outset, and required a brave 46 from Britney Cooper to get up to 156 all out off 47.3 overs.
Left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera (three for 17) and seamer Sripali Weerakkody (three for 37) both picked up three wickets apiece.
In reply, Sri Lanka suffered a collapse of their own, crashing to 125 all out in the 46th over, with teenaged off-spinner Hayley Matthews snatching a career-best three for seven from three overs and two balls.
Pacer Tremayne Smartt (two for 28) and off-spinner Anisa Mohammed (two for 23) supported with two wickets each.
Eshani Kaushalya top-scored with 30 and Nipuni Hansika got 21 but the hosts lost their last seven wickets for 58 runs after coasting at 67 for three in the 25th over at one stage.
The victory gave West Indies a 3-1 win in the series and more importantly, saw them pick up another two ICC Championship points, following a similar win on Monday.
West Indies Women started poorly, losing Kycia Knight for eight with the score on 16 in the third over but recovered slightly through a 28-run, second wicket stand between opener Matthews and Stafanie Taylor.
Matthews, the gutsy 17-year-old Barbadian, hit 24 off 23 balls with three fours while Taylor made just eight. Both fell within the space of four deliveries with the score on 44 and when the usually dependable Deandra Dottin perished for 13 and captain Merissa Aguilleira, 12, West Indies Women were reeling at 82 for five in the 20th over.
Cooper stepped up to rally the innings, hammering four fours and two sixes off 65 deliveries before being eighth out in the 35th over.
Smartt then knocked over Yasoda Mendis (13) and Prasadani Weerakkody (10) as Sri Lanka Women slumped to 34 for three in the 15th over, in reply.
Hansika and Shashikala Siriwardene (16) staged a recovery with a 33-run, fourth wicket stand but Mohammed and Matthews went to work on the middle and lower order, to hand West Indies Women a convincing victory.
This was despite Kaushalya’s knock which came from 50 deliveries with three fours, before she was run out in the 40th over with the hosts already sliding.