Until today, Sri Lanka Women had never beaten any of the big four sides – Australia, England, India, and New Zealand. They chose to start with the biggest scalp of them all, on the biggest stage of them all. There have been some huge upsets in men’s World Cup history, but a defending champion going down first match against one of the weakest teams has to rank on par, if not above them.
The powerfully-built seam-bowling allrounder Eshani Kaushalya set up a nerve-shredder of a last-ball result with an unrelenting assault, her strong forearms responding to her unshakeable belief, and drilling boundary after boundary past, and over, helpless England fielders. The match had been Sri Lanka’s to lose, when they needed 97 runs to win with nine wickets remaining. But England, having already fought back earlier with the bat, were up for another scrap. Read more