Chamari Athapaththu special powers Sri Lanka to record run-chase against Proteas

FILE - Laura Wolvaardt in action for the Proteas. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP

FILE - Laura Wolvaardt in action for the Proteas. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP

Published Apr 17, 2024


Chamari Athapaththu was at her brutal best as Sri Lanka stunned the Proteas Women with a record run-chase in Potchefstroom to level the three-match ICC Women's Championship ODI series and end a highly successful bilateral tour to South Africa.

Chasing 302 to win, Athapaththu led Sri Lanka’s fightback with a stunning hundred, and remained unbeaten on 195, the third-highest score in women’s ODIs, as the visitors overhauled the target with 33 balls to spare.

Earlier, Laura Wolvaardt continued her stellar run in the bilateral series against Sri Lanka with a second ODI hundred in as many matches. The opener smashed an unbeaten 184 to take South Africa to 301 in the third and final ODI of the series.

Wolvaardt’s knock is the highest score by a South African in women's ODIs and was also the fourth-highest in women’s ODIs for a brief while, going past Athapaththu’s 178* against Australia in 2017.

Wolvaardt, who had made a hundred in the T20I leg of the tour, also smashed a century in the second ODI in Kimberley on Saturday. On Wednesday, she added another ton to her tally with a spectacular knock.

But her brilliance was overshadowed by her opposite number, Athapaththu, who stole the limelight with a stunning hundred to seal the first-ever successful run-chase of over 300 in women’s ODIs.

Australia had held the record for the highest run-chase in women’s ODIs for more than a decade. In 2012, Australia chased down a target of 289 against New Zealand. Last year, they also chased down 283 against India at the Wankhede.