Apr 112014
Siriwardene Resigns Sri Lanka Captaincy
Shasikala Siriwardene

Shashikala Siriwardene has stepped down as Sri Lanka captain

© International Cricket Council

Experienced all-rounder Shashikala Siriwardene has stepped down as captain of the Sri Lanka Women’s national team.

She recently led the side during the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, where Sri Lanka finised a disappointing eighth place.

They managed one win in their group – against India – before losing the remaining three matches and then being defeated by New Zealand and Pakistan in positional play-offs, meaning they will have to qualify for the 2016 event.

“Sri Lanka Cricket wishes to announce that Ms. Shashikala Siriwardene has stepped down from the Captaincy of the National Team,” a statement from Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) read.

“Shashikala tendered her resignation from the Captaincy of Sri Lanka Women’s Team to the CEO of SLC Mr. Ashley De Silva.”

Siriwardene first captained her country back in 2005 and the match against Pakistan was her 100th leading Sri Lanka in all formats.

She has played 76 One-Day Internationals and 39 Twenty20 Internationals for Sri Lanka.

© Cricket World 2014

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Mar 302014
England cruise past Sri Lanka and into semis

England Women passed their biggest test of the Women’s World Twenty20, easing to a seven-wicket victory in a must-win game versus Sri Lanka at Sylhet.

In an encounter that was effectively a shootout for a semi-final spot, Charlotte Edwards again had her bowlers to thank after another terrific display.

With Anya Shrubsole claiming three wickets, Sri Lanka had few answers and stuttered to 85 for nine.

That did not prove remotely challenging a target, opener Sarah Taylor leading the way with 36 as England got home comfortably.

From the moment Edwards opted to bowl, her side assumed complete control as Shrubsole began to weave some magic.

Anya Shrubsole celebrates one of her three wickets in England Women's crucial World Twenty20 victory over Sri Lanka in Sylhet this evening

Chamari Atapattu was the first batter to succumb, trapped lbw for a duck as the seamer struck in the opening over.

Not content, Shrubsole continued to impress and was rewarded when castling Deepika Rasangika to leave Sri Lanka in further trouble.

With the key threat out of the attack after her third over, Shashikala Siriwardene’s side aimed to build against the rest.

Yet Shrubsole was offered able support by Rebecca Grundy and Jenny Gunn, the former having Yasoda Mendis stumped and Eshani Lokusuriyage caught and bowled either side of the latter luring Chamari Polgampola into a feather behind.

Siriwardene was the sole bright spot amid the chaos, at least ensuring Sri Lanka had a steadying force at one end.

England continued to wheel away impressively at her colleagues, however, as all of the other batters failed to reach double figures.

Shrubsole was the pick of the attack, adding the scalp of Udeshika Prabodhani to finish with outstanding figures of 3-9.

Gunn and Grundy each ended with two wickets, while Natalie Sciver and Danni Hazell grabbed one apiece.

Any hopes Sri Lanka had of defending their small total were quickly put to rest as Taylor began to unfurl her array of strokes.

So comfortable did she look that her departure, stumped being overly aggressive against Shashikala Siriwardene, was ultimately a surprise.

Edwards fell to the same bowler for a steady 17 soon after, trapped lbw, but Heather Knight kept up the momentum with a positive 21.

She ultimately departed with a run required for victory, yet Sciver completed a fine win by hitting the winning run.

Feb 012013
Sri Lanka's unwavering belief pays off
Shashikala Siriwardene scored 34, England v Sri Lanka, Women's World Cup 2013, Group A, Mumbai, February 1, 2013

Shashikala Siriwardene contributed 34 to a memorable run chase © ICC/Solaris Images

Belief. Faith. Both words figured prominently in the reactions of Sri Lanka Women captain Shashikala Siriwardene and Player-of-the-Match Eshani Kaushalya. Even after England Women recovered from 29 for 3 to a challenging 238, Siriwardene said she believed her batsmen could achieve Sri Lanka’s first win over one of the top four sides – Australia, England, India and New Zealand. Kaushalya, whose defiant, hard-hitting 56 made victory possible, said despite Sri Lanka losing batsmen regularly, she never lost faith that they would win.

“Our batting line-up is strong with our No. 10 being the wicketkeeper-batsman, so we always had the faith,” Kaushalya said. “So even though wickets were falling, the next person coming in was a batter, so that faith I had.”

Kaushalya had been dropped on 10 by Jenny Gunn. She said the let-off gave her further assurance about it being Sri Lanka’s day. “I believed today is a lucky day and I knew then we would definitely finish the match.”

Siriwardene called it a “very special day” and credited “team effort” for the win, something she said had been lacking in the past from Sri Lanka. “We just wanted to keep them under 200 but there were 39 extra runs [conceded]. But I knew that my players would finish it and I had the faith in them.

“When we played against them in 2010 we lost by five runs, so again we always had the belief. This is the highest run-chase for us for a victory, this is not easy. The main reason is the team effort because out of the 11 there are seven-eight performers. That was lacking for us as a team. So this has changed from today and hopefully that continues.”

England captain Charlotte Edwards was left hoping for a quick turnaround after an embarrassing defeat for the defending champions. Edwards had said in the run-up to the tournament that defending the title successfully would be the crowning glory for her in an outstanding career, both as leader and batsman. England left little to chance as far as preparation goes, turning up a couple of weeks ago for a training camp in Pune.

Edwards looked gutted after the last-ball loss but was candid enough to say Sri Lanka were not to be taken lightly as opponents. “We are bitterly disappointed, it is not the perfect start to the World Cup,” Edwards said. “I think a lot of credit has to go to Sri Lanka and how they played. I think we had a decent score and we let it slip there in the end with a couple of dropped catches. It is not all bad cricket from us but the credit has to go to Sri Lanka.

“They have been playing pretty good cricket, when we went over there two years ago they gave us two good games of cricket, and it is not any surprise to me today because they have got some talented players and unfortunately they have all come good on the same day. For the outsider looking in, it is a huge upset and we have just got to come back strong here on Sunday [against India] and hopefully go on and beat West Indies.”

Edwards said it would not be difficult at all to get the team to pick themselves up. “I was very pleased how we came back [with the bat] and how Amy Jones played on her debut. Probably the bowling is a slight concern at the moment, especially the middle overs. It is hard to take wickets over here. I thought we didn’t field particularly well either so that is an area we need to work on. We don’t have long between games and I don’t want to put pressure on the girls. We can beat India in India and we got to believe in ourselves and come out here and do that.”

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