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Chamari Athapaththu special powers Sri Lanka to record run-chase

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Potchefstroom (South Africa): Chamari Athapaththu was at her brutal best as Sri Lanka stunned South Africa with a record run-chase here to level the three-match ICC Women’s Championship ODI series and end a highly successful bilateral tour to the Rainbow Nation.

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 not out 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, an ICC report said.

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.

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