Chamari Athapaththu struck an unbeaten 195 off 139 against South Africa on Wednesday (April 17), almost single-handedly guiding Sri Lanka to the highest successful chase in women’s ODI history.

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Her innings was the third-highest individual score ever in a women’s ODI, with only Amelia Kerr’s and Belinda Clark’s double-centuries above her. In the first innings, Laura Wolvaardt hit an unbeaten 184, which sits fifth on the list behind Athapaththu and Deepti Sharma’s 188 against Ireland in 2017. Both innings are the highest in the format for Sri Lanka and South Africa respectively. Athapaththu is the only player to have scored a century for Sri Lanka in a women’s ODI, and she now holds the highest 11 scores for them in the format. Vasanthi Ratnayake is her closest challenger with 88 against Pakistan in 2002.

Having reached 90-0 in reply to South Africa’s 301-5, Sri Lanka slipped to 126-4, losing four wickets in fewer than three overs. At that point, pulling off the first successful chase of over 300 in a women’s ODI looked almost impossible. But, Nilakshika Silva held out for a maiden ODI half century, seeing out 71 balls alongside Athapaththu in a 179-run partnership to ease to the target. When Athapaththu smashed Nadine de Klerk for a six to record the winning runs, there were still 33 balls remaining in the innings.

The previous highest successful target chase in the format was 289 by Australia against New Zealand in 2012. Sri Lanka’s previous highest successful chase in the format was 257-7 against India in 2018. Sri Lanka finished on 305-4 which, regardless of the match result, is the joint highest second innings total in women’s ODIs alongside South Africa’s 305-9 against England at Bristol in 2017. South Africa ended up on the losing side that day having been set 374 to chase.

Athapaththu’s innings is her ninth century in ODI cricket and her second score of over 175. She is the only player to exceed 175 more than once in a women’s ODI. Across both genders, only Glenn Maxwell has a higher score batting second in an ODI with his 201* against Afghanistan in the 2023 World Cup. It’s also Athapaththu’s fourth century batting second, only Meg Lanning and Amy Satterthwaite have more in women’s ODIs. Athapaththu, however, is the only player with two scores of 140 and above in women’s ODIs, having scored 140* off just 80 balls against New Zealand at Galle last year in a successful chase.

The innings marks the continuation of an incredible run of form with the bat for Athapaththu. She average 69.16 in ODIs last year across eight innings with two centuries. Only Wolvaardt has scored more runs  than her in the format since the beginning of last year, with Wolvaardt again the only one to have hit more centuries. With a minimum of 100 runs, no player has averaged more than Athapaththu (96.14) in the same timeframe in Women’s ODIs, with Hayley Matthews the next highest on 74.00. Limiting to only Sri Lanka players in women’s ODIs, since the beginning of last year Athapaththu has scored 673 runs, the next highest scorer is Kavisha Dilhari, who has scored 191 runs in the same number of matches.