- Sri Lanka 129-4, South Africa 126-9; Sri Lanka win by three runs
- Athapaththu sets up win as hosts feel the pressure in Cape Town
Playing a tournament opener in front of a home crowd can do funny things to a team – just ask Australia (who lost to India in 2020) or England (who did the same in 2017). And so it proved again at Newlands on Friday. The first match of the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup should have been a chance for South Africa to record an easy win, after restricting Sri Lanka to a measly 129 for four.
Instead, their opponents had them on the ropes at 72 for five in the 13th over, and despite a mad scramble from Suné Luus (28 from 27 balls) and Sinalo Jafta (15 off 9) to revive the innings, the hosts fell an agonising four runs short. The emotional strain of living the dream of playing in a home World Cup but without her wife, Dane van Niekerk, by her side had shown plainly on the face of Marizanne Kapp during the national anthems; by the end Kapp’s tears were infectious.
Written by Raf Nicholson in Paarl
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/feb/10/sri-lanka-shock-hosts-south-africa-in-womens-t20-world-cup-opener under the title “Women’s T20 World Cup: Sri Lanka stun hosts South Africa in dramatic opener”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.