Natural, positive cricket the key for Atapattu | Daily News

Natural, positive cricket the key for Atapattu

The captains of the competing teams in the Twenty20 women's World Cup in Australia, (L to R) Thailand's Sornnarin Tippoch, West Indies's Stafanie Taylor, India's Harmanpreet Kaur, New Zealand's Sophie Devine, Australia's Meg Lanning, England's Heather Knight, Bangladesh's Salma Khatun, Sri Lanka's Chamari Atapattu, Pakistan's Bismah Maroof and South Africa's Dane van Niekerk pose with the women's Twenty20 World Cup trophy at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on February 17, 2020, a few days ahead of the start of the competition. AFP

Fearless cricket has given Chamari Atapattu an enviable record against Australia and the Sri Lanka captain isn’t changing her approach any time soon.

The 30-year-old averages 40.20 against Meg Lanning’s side, more than double her career figure and an impressive feat against the defending ICC Women’s T20 World Cup champions.

That’s in no small part due to one of the greatest innings in women’s T20I history, scoring 113 from just 66 balls as part of Sri Lanka’s total of 176 for seven in Sydney last September.

A repeat of that would take something special but if there’s anyone who can reproduce such sterling knocks, it’s Atapattu.

“I just play my natural game, I always took myself as a positive cricketer, playing freely – and that’s all there is to it,” she said, speaking at the captains’ media day at Taronga Zoo, Sydney.

“We played against Australia last summer, we learned a lot about them and what makes them the best team in the world.

“We tried to play positive cricket – our dream is to get into the semi-finals.

“We are looking forward to playing good cricket, the innings against them made history but I want to go forward and make history again,” she said.

Atapattu’s superb record in the shortest format doesn’t end there, one of 14 players to have played in every Women’s T20 World Cup since the first edition in 2009.

As such she knows more than most about what success would mean for her country, yet to progress beyond the group stage in the six tournaments to date – an unwanted statistic she is keen to address.

“Our preparation against Australia has made us confident, so we are looking forward to taking that forward into the World Cup,” she added.

“In the last editions of the tournament, we’ve not made the semi-finals so that is what we’re looking to change this time.

“We know that there are some strong teams in this competition but we just want to take things one game at a time.” - ICC


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