ICC Women's T20 World Cup Warm-Up
Kulasuriya cleared of serious injury after nasty knock
Sri Lanka's first engagement in the T20 World Cup warm-ups produced a scary moment when Achini Kulasuriya was taken to hospital on a hectic day at Karen Rolton Oval
Andrew Ramsey at Karen Rolton Oval
16 February 2020, 07:11 PM AEST
Sri Lanka seamer Achini Kulasuriya has been cleared of serious injury but will continue to be monitored after being struck on the head while fielding during today's T20 World Cup warm-up match against South Africa in Adelaide.
Kulasuriya was hit flush on the top of her skull when she misjudged a skied catch from Proteas power-hitter Chloe Tryon while stationed on the long-off boundary, and lay face down on the turf as worried teammates raced to her aid.
The 29-year-old remained motionless for several minutes as ambulance officers checked her condition and Tryon stood nearby with hands on head, clearly distressed as Kulasuriya was slowly lifted on to a stretcher.
She was then wheeled from the ground to a nearby ambulance and transferred to the adjacent Royal Adelaide Hospital for further tests.
A Sri Lanka team spokesman told cricket.com.au Kulasuriya had been responsive as she was carried from the field, and she was discharged from hospital late this afternoon and returned to the team's Adelaide hotel.
Sri Lanka's opening match of the T20 World Cup will be against New Zealand at the WACA Ground in Perth next Saturday.
The incident occurred from the first ball of the game's second super-over, which had been implemented purely as a practice measure after South Africa finished the earlier 20-over match victorious by 41 runs.
However, with the second game of the day's double-header of warm-up fixtures (between New Zealand and England) not due to start for an hour or more, it was decided the teams would engage in a 'trial' super-over hit-out to ready themselves for the tournament proper.
The match was called off in the aftermath of Kulasuriya's injury, with members of the Sri Lanka line-up and support staff reassuring Tryon that she was in no way to blame for the incident and that their injured teammates was okay.
It proved an added setback for Sri Lanka whose bowlers had been flogged for 146 after they had removed South Africa's highly rated opening pair Lizelle Lee and Dane van Niekerk for ducks inside the first three overs.
The Proteas then recovered through a 50-run third-wicket stand between Marizanne Kapp (44 from 44 balls) and Mignon du Preez (28 from 27) before Laura Wolvaart and Tryon capped the innings with an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 44 from 17 deliveries.
Sri Lanka's reply began disastrously when skipper Chamari Atapattu was removed for one in the second over, and only Atapattu's opening partner Hasini Perera (22 from 29 balls) and tail-ender Ama Kanchana (24 not out from 15) reaching 20.
Highly fancied New Zealand made a similarly inauspicious start to their first outing in the pre-tournament warm-up match when they slumped to 4-38 in the seventh over of their practice game against England.
That top-order collapse included a third-ball duck for star allrounder Sophie Devine who went into the match averaging a remarkable 112 (at a strike rate of 151.35 from her seven appearances at Karen Rolton Oval with the Adelaide Strikers in the Women's Big Bash League.
The White Ferns, twicer runners-up for the global T20 crown that continues to elude them, recovered to post 9-134 thanks largely to Katey Martin (57 from 44 balls) and Suzie Bates (33 from 38) while England spearhead Katherine Brunt claimed 3-23 from her four overs.
But England, who have reached three of the previous four World T20 finals only to lose all of them to Australia, made short work of the run chase, reaching their victory target with six wickets and two overs to spare.
Skipper Heather Knight hit the winning runs and remained unbeaten on 45.
Openers Amy Jones (21 off 17 balls) and Danni Wyatt rattled on 41 for the first wicket before Jones was dismissed in the sixth over.
But Wyatt powered on and blazed four boundaries and two sixes in her 42 (from 32 deliveries) to underpin England's largely flawless start to their World Cup campaign that begins in earnest against South Africa at the WACA next Sunday.
Wyatt claimed it was an ideal preparation for England who play their final warm-up match against Sri Lanka in Adelaide on Tuesday, and noted that the team's Australian coach Lisa Keightley had brought some valuable insights since taking over the role last year.
"We're all quite familiar with Lisa because she used to coach us when we were younger with the England academy," Wyatt told cricket.com.au today.
"She's a legend; she brings a calm, cool vibe to the group and she's got a lot of experience from her playing days with Australia.
"She's really nice to chat to on a one-to-one basis, and she said one thing to me last night – 'run well and bat with intent' – and I remembered that when I was out there today and it worked.
"New Zealand are a quality side, so it's nice to be under pressure.
"And for me, to spend some time out in the middle against a quality attack and to feel good, it's going to benefit me in the long-run and get me ready for that first game (against South Africa) at the WACA."
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE