Twitter Reactions: Chamari Athapaththu, Inoka Ranaweera guide Sri Lanka to thrilling victory against South Africa

The T20 World Cup opener produced an exhilarating contest which saw Sri Lanka upset the hosts by three runs.

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Sri Lankan Cricket Team
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Sri Lankan Cricket Team. (Photo Source: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Women's T20 World Cup 2023 couldn't have asked for a better start as hosts South Africa and Sri Lanka engaged in a thrilling curtain raiser in Cape Town to kick off the global tournament. The Asian outfit prevailed in a thrilling encounter to upend the hosts by three runs. Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu led from the front in the first innings, and her bowlers held their nerve to make the headlines after a memorable night at the Newlands.

After good work by the Proteas bowlers, it was the turn of the batters to secure their first win of the tournament. The home side got off to a decent start in the chase before the introduction of Inoka Ranaweera into the attack. The veteran left-arm spinner accounted for Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp to keep her side in the contest.

Despite a seemingly low total on the board, the South African batters were put under tremendous pressure by the Sri Lankans, especially the slower bowlers, who never let the batters a moment's respite. South African skipper Sune Luus held the innings together with her fighting innings as wickets kept tumbling from the other end. 

However, her departure in the penultimate over of the match proved to be the decisive factor in the contest as Sri Lanka got over the line in a tense finale. Ranaweera was the pick of the bowlers, returning with brilliant figures of 3/18 in her four overs. Sugandika Kumari and Oshadi Ranasinghe also made valiant contributions, scalping two wickets each to keep the hosts in check.

Athapaththu leads the charge for Sri Lanka

Earlier in the match, the Asian outfit, led by Chamari Athapaththu, were put into bat first by the hosts. Even though they lost Harshitha Madavi cheaply, their skipper dug deep from one end, receiving able support from the young Vishmi Gunaratne. The duo added 86 runs for the second wicket but failed to provide the desired finish to the innings as both the set batters were dismissed on consecutive deliveries of the 18th over.

South African bowlers tightened things at the death, conceading just 15 runs in the final three overs to restrict their Asian counterparts to a modest total of 129 runs in their 20 overs. Athapaththu was the star of the show, amassing 68 runs off just 50 deliveries to silence her critics.

Here is how Twitter reacted to Sri Lanka's thrilling victory against hosts South Africa:

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