Sun, 10 Dec 2023

Colombo [Sri Lanka], February 1 (ANI): Sri Lanka on Wednesday named their 15-member squad for the forthcoming ICC Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa.

The squad will be led by their regular skipper and star batter Chamari Athapaththu. They will kickstart their campaign with the tournament opener against hosts South Africa on 10 February.

Sri Lanka will be without the services of Hasini Perera, who has been ruled out of the tournament due to a finger injury. Sathya Sandeepani has been named as her replacement.

Sri Lanka will join the T20 World Cup hoping to improve on their modest record of eight wins in 27 matches. Their only victory in the 2020 edition was a convincing nine-wicket victory over Bangladesh.

They are grouped with South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Bangladesh in Group A of the competition. The squad will bet on Athapaththu, their most successful batter in Women's T20Is, to finish first. Harshitha Samarawickrama bats in the top order and has recently scored a match-winning 81 from 69 against Thailand in the Asia Cup 2022.

Anushka Sanjeewani, a wicketkeeper-batter, has also appeared as an opener, though she has recently been assigned the job of a floater. The middle order will include Nilakshi de Silva and Kavisha Dilhari.

Dilhari is also a capable off-spinner, having taken 16 T20I wickets. Oshadi Ranasinghe, another veteran all-rounder, took 23 wickets at an average of 15.56 last year.

In South Africa, Sri Lanka will rely largely on its spinners. Slow left-arm orthodox spinners Inoka Ranaweera and Sugandika Kumari will form the backbone of their attack. Ranaweera is the second-most successful Sri Lankan bowler in Women's T20Is, with 68 wickets.

Sri Lanka will be without Hasini Perera, who was ruled out of the event after sustaining a finger injury during practise. Her replacement has been named Sathya Sandeepani.

Pace bowlers Tharika Sewwandi, Ama Kanchana, Achini Kulasuriya, and Sandeepani are among those who can be called upon throughout the campaign.

Vishmi Gunaratne, who captained Sri Lanka in the recent ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup, is also on the squad. With 134 runs at an average of 44.66, the player was Sri Lanka's best batsman in the U19 World Cup.

Squad: Chamari Athapaththu (c), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Anushka Sanjeewani, Kaushini Nuthyangana, Malsha Shehani, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya, Vishmi Gunaratne, Tharika Sewwandi, Ama Kanchana and Sathya Sandeepani. (ANI)

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