Giant-killers Lanka look to clip Kiwi wings in World Cup
Mumbai: After knocking out hosts India with a stunning win, giant-killers Sri Lanka will lock horns with former champions New Zealand here on Friday after the two teams made the Super Six stage by finishing second in their respective groups of the Women`s cricket World Cup.
Super Six is the next stage of the eight-team event, where six teams from the preliminary round -- three each from Group A and Group B -- play a game each against the other group qualifiers to spot the finalists.
Teams will carry the points earned against Super Six qualifiers from the same group into the second stage.
Sri Lanka, who started as underdogs, have proved their detractors wrong, after they stunned defending champions England in a last-ball one-wicket win and routed out hosts India by 138 runs.
Starting as minnows, the last edition`s wooden spoon holders would try to upset the plans of the last World Cup runners up at the BKC ground.
Against India, in the do or die encounter, Sri Lanka`s batting fired in unison as they posted a competitive 282 for five.
The Lankans would expect a similar performance against the White Ferns, with four of their top five batters notching up their half centuries.
Promoted to number three, Deepika Rasangika led the way with a knock of 84 while Kaushalya Lokusooriya struck out an unbeaten 31-ball 56 to propel the side against India.
The Lankan bowlers came good in the previous match as they bundled out India for a paltry 144, after a dismal show against the West Indies, where they gave away 368 runs.
Siriwardene said entering the super six stage was a dream come true for her side.
"I can`t believe it, it`s dream come true for us. We finished eighth in the last World Cup. I got a call from my home. The people are excited over there. This is the second match they have seen live. Everything is changing for us," she said.
The island nation has made it to the super six for the first time and Siriwardene said the team hopes to put up a good show.
"This is the first time we are coming to super six, so we are hoping to do well," she said.
The 27-year old is expected to contribute with both bat and ball in what she said could well be her last World Cup appearance.
"I am super happy. This might be my last World Cup," she said.
New Zealand, on the other hand, would try to bounce back after their seven-wicket defeat to neighbours Australia.
Captain and opener Suzie Bates has been in menacing form with a 102 in the previous match, 73 against South Africa and 65 not out against Pakistan.
The middle-order, however, hasn`t been clicking for the Kiwis, and they would expect Sophie Devine, who cracked 145 to set her side`s easy win over South Africa, to come up with a similar knock against Sri Lanka.
New Zealand would also depend on their bowlers to dismiss the opposition cheaply, like they did against South Africa (170) and Pakistan (104).
Captain Bates would have to rely on pacers Sian Ruck, who took four wickets against South Africa and Rachael Candy, who bagged a five-wicket haul against Pakistan, to get the breakthroughs against Sri Lanka.