Sri Lanka's former fast bowler and the current coach of the national women's team Rumesh Ratnayake said the preparations his side put in paid off against the visiting New Zealand team.
Sri Lanka’s women’s team not only defeated the New Zealand women for the first time in any format, but also completed a series win against the White Ferns.
Ratnayake said, "Our preparations were good for this series and we are all satisfied with the outcome in our favour. The players were determined to work hard and put in more than 100% of their abilities. It was not an easy task to beat the very good New Zealand side.”
The coach was full of praise for the captain, Chamari Athapaththu's, innings.
"Chamari's last two centuries in three matches are beyond doubt superb. She remained not out in both the matches and the sixes (5 and 9) coming from her bat were like bullets. Her rocket speed sixes reminded me of innings played by our men's players – Sanath Jayasuriya, Aravinda de Silva and Kusal Perera. Her centuries can easily be compared with India's Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's tons,” he said.
The 59-year-old Ratnayake has experience of coaching the national men's team.
He, however, feels coaching the women's team is relatively easier.
"The understanding level of the women players is different from the men's. It took me six months to adjust to this team but now I feel the players are well-matured and they are not only satisfied with this win but want to continue the winning streak. The win is also the result of the hard work of our support staff-members. Our support staff system is fantastic and it is key to our team's success".
The visiting New Zealand team will now play three T20Is at the P. Sara Stadium in Colombo on July 8, 10 and 12. (BIPIN DANI)