Atapattu: Three quick wickets turned it in our favour

Sri Lankan Chamari Atapattu credited her bowlers, especially Udeshika Prabodhani and Sugandika Kumari, for taking two wickets apiece and aiding the team's win.

Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Atapattu complimented her bowlers for defending a small target. (File photo)   -  G. P. Sampath Kumar

Sri Lanka captain Chamari Atapattu said three quick wickets in the middle overs of South Africa’s chase was the turning point which earned it a 10-run win in the ICC women’s World Twenty20 here today.

“The turning point was getting three quick wickets. First we had Trisha Chetty, Dane Van Niekerk and Captain Mignon du Preez,” she told the media after the match.

South Africa skipper du Preez praised the Sri Lanka bowlers, who stifled the Proteas batters to 104.

“Yes, we thought we could achieve the small target. We just had to score run a ball, and did not think of going for big shots, but Sri Lanka took three quick wickets in the middle, which resulted in run rate creeping up, and eventually it became difficult for fresh batters to hit from very first ball,” she said.

Atapattu gave credit to her bowlers, especially Udeshika Prabodhani and Sugandika Kumari, for taking two wickets apiece.

“Before walking into the middle to defend 114 runs, I told my team to bowl as many dots balls as possible in first six overs and then give singles, but not boundaries. Our bowlers Udeshika and Sugandika bowled well, which restricted South Africa from running away with a victory,” she said.

Talking about captaincy, Atapattu said: “It is a burden, but it did not affect my normal game. I am happy my team played two strong teams — New Zealand and Australia, and also scored 120 plus in all the matches we played.”

On the other hand, du Preez said her team was disappointed with its performance and would try to correct the wrongs when it gets back home.

“From a personal point of view, we have been disappointed with our performance in the last two weeks in the World Cup. We would like to work on our problem areas and come back strongly,” she told reporters.

Asked whether its bowlers lost the trick by giving a few more runs in last few overs, du Preez said: “It is quite obvious that a team would go after the bowling in last overs — that is expected. However, 115 is gettable, but our batters once again let our bowlers down.”

Asked if she missed a trick or two by employing Sune Luus to left-handers, du Preez said: “Not really. As a captain you have several strategies to execute. Of course at the end of the match, there are many talks for not getting the plan right. Nevertheless, Luus has done well and I am pretty happy with her.”