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It’s a wrap

Kern DeFreitas, Trinidad Express

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Rain held up the encounter, but West Indies women survived a top-order collapse against Sri Lanka to snatch the Twenty20 series with a 3-0 lead at Queen’s Park Oval yesterday after eking out a three-wicket victory.
Shemaine Campbell played a sensible innings to finish unbeaten on 27 off 23 balls, and shared in partnerships of 13 and 18 with skipper Merissa Aguilleira and Anisa Mohammed, and an unbroken stand of 24 with Tremayne Smartt to steer the regional team home in 15.1 overs after the match had been shortened to 16 overs due to bad weather.
Sri Lanka, who got a brave contribution of 22 not out from Deepika Rasangika to post a fighting total after the visitors elected to bat, would have thought the match was theirs after they reduced West Indies to 38 for six, and then 56 for seven.
Sripali Weerakkoddy led Sri Lanka’s bowling effort with three for 23 off her four overs.
But up stepped Campbell to reverse the pressure to the fielders, who simply were not good enough to stop the batsmen turning ones into twos.
West Indies’ chase was in dire straits early on with Juliana Nero, after hitting a sweet, aerial straight four off Chamani Seneviratne, holing out to mid-off for seven.
Star No. 3 bat Deandra Dottin lasted a single ball, with the thinnest of edges nestling in wicket-keeper Prasadani Weerakkoddy’s gloves.
But the loss of world No. 1 batter and all-rounder Stafanie Taylor hurt the most, as she provided a leading edge back to the gleeful bowler, Chamani Seneviratne.
Stacy-Ann King was gone after three successive lbw appeals off Shashikala Siriwardene and Shanel Daley too failed to make her mark on the innings.
Campbell stepped up with Aguilleira until her captain missed one from Chandima Gunaratne and lost her off stump.
Anisa Mohammed too joined Campbell and ran well before her ill-judged aerial hit landed in the arms of Siriwardene.
That was merely another wobble, as Smartt joined Campbell, and with the overs running out, they forced the fielders to throw at the stumps by stealing quick singles and twos.
Smartt hit the winning four off her eighth ball, and then sprinted towards the celebrating Windies players, leaping in the air as she went.
A fair start for Sri Lanka, who won the toss and batted, was followed by a severe wobble, as they struggled to reach a competitive total on a slow Oval pitch.
Chamari Atapattu was first to go for seven in the fourth over and the score on 17, feathering an edge behind to wicket-keeper Aguilleira off Daley.
With opening bowler Shakera Selman tightening up one end, hometown off-spinner Mohammed would have been disappointed that Campbell dropped a catch off next player in, Yasoda Mendis.
But in came Subrina Munroe with a double-strike in her first over.
With No. 4 bat Deepika Rasangika, who looked on haplessly as the procession continued around her, holding up one end, Sri Lanka eked out enough runs to make a fist of the match.

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