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I started like Sanga and ended like Sanath: Chamari Athapaththu

She hit a blitzkrieg 178 off just 143 balls with 22 fours and six sixes to help her side register a competitive total of 258 on the board

Chamari Athapaththu
Chamari Athapaththu of Sri Lanka. (Photo by Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Sri Lankan batter Chamari Athapaththu entered the record books after her whirlwind knock against Australia Women in the ongoing edition of the ICC Women’s World Cup. She hit a blitzkrieg 178 off just 143 balls with 22 fours and six sixes to help her side register a competitive total of 258 on the board. She scored almost 70 per cent of her team’s total on the day.

Chamari Athapaththu was unlucky to have ended on the losing side after Meg Lanning’s 152 overshadowed her knock. However, on the personal front, she was very pleased with her effort. She remarked that she started off like Kumar Sangakkara and then smashed the ball like Sanath Jayasuriya. “I started like Sanga and ended like Sanath,” she chirped. Reflecting back at her innings, she remarked that she earlier tried to go for singles. Later, she started to take the attack to the opposition.

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“I am really happy with my performance. For the first 25-30 overs, I tried to go for singles and the odd boundary. After 35 overs, when the Power Play started, I tried to hit the ball over the ropes,” Chamari Athapaththu quoted as per the icc-cricket.com.

Commenting on the English conditions, she noted that she likes playing against the swinign ball. She had an idea about how the ball would be shaping in during the course of the game and that helped her score well. “I love coming back to England. I love the conditions here and we have played a game here before so I knew what the conditions would be like,” she quoted.

This is not the first time she hit an ODI hundred. However, she rates it as the best of her career. The solitary reason behind this is the fact that innings came against a quality bowling lineup. “This is my best achievement. Australia has experienced bowlers like Ellyse Perry and Megan Schutt, who also play in leagues and county matches. I trusted myself and played to my potential,” Chamari Athapaththu conceded.

On her role model

On the day, she even remembered her father who she calls as her role model. Her father died almost a decade ago due to cardiac arrest. Chamari still remembers the support that her father gave her in her early playing days. “He is the hero in my life. He helped me a lot in my career. He loved cricket. He always pushed me to go and play, supported me in all aspects. I liked cricket, but was very lazy. He pushed me to pursue a career in the game,” she noted.

She further conceded that more and more girls have started taking up the sport now. This is a good news for the Sri Lankan cricket. At a time when the Sri Lanka men’s team is struggling, the women’s team is giving some sort of joy albeit in individual form.

“A lot of girls are now playing cricket in my town, a few youngsters have come to the national level. We need more girls to play to help improve our cricket. In the next year we will see two or three players come through to play in the national team,” she concluded.

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