Sri Lanka caused the biggest upset of the ICC Women's World Cup as they defeated defending champions England by one wicket off a last-ball six in a thrilling Group A encounter at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Friday.
After drawing level with England off the penultimate ball, Sri Lanka's Dulani Manodara pulled Georgia Elwiss over mid-wicket for a superb six to complete their first-ever win over their fancied rivals in any form of the game.
Chasing 239 for a win, the Lankans got off to a flying start with a record century partnership between Chamari Athapaththu and Yasoda Mendis, but slumped to 157 for 5 before Kaushalya Lokusooriya brought them on the doorsteps of victory with a whirlwind 56 off 41 balls with three sixes and 5 fours.
Kaushalya was run out off the penultimate ball at the non-striker's end before Dulani slammed Elwiss for a six to complete a shock win over the three-time champions.
The left-right opening combination of Atapaththu (62) and Yasoda (46) laid the foundation of the Lankan run chase. But after Atapaththu's exit at 103, the underdogs lost a clutch of wickets in a short span -- including that of Yasoda.
They looked like slumping to their eighth defeat in nine contests (one no result) against England in ODIs, before Kaushalya played the match-winning innings to knock the wind out of the champions' sails.
Kaushalya, lucky to be dropped on nine by Jennifer Gunn in the deep, took full advantage of her 'life' to hit two fours in the 48th over in which the bowler gave away 16 runs.
Needing 13 from the last 12 balls, Kaushalya lost her eighth-wicket partner Deepika Rasangika, with seven balls remaining and her side needed nine off the last over.
The hard-hitting batter pulled Elwiss for a six to bring down the target, was dropped by the bowler in the next ball and then got run out in a dramatic final over before Dulani hit a six off the last ball to complete a famous win.
Earlier, England recovered from a dismal start to their campaign and posted a competitive total.
England lost their top three batters -- skipper Charlotte Edwards, Danielle Wyatt and Lydia Greenway -- within half an hour and by the eighth over after being put in to bat.
Rocked by the loss of three quick wickets against a side which had not beaten them in eight previous encounters, England staged a rally through their fourth and sixth wicket pairs.
From at 29 for 3, Arran Brindle (31) and Heather Knight (38) steadied the England innings with a partnership of 64 for the fourth wicket in 100 balls.
After the loss of this duo in a short span of overs, it was left to Jenny Gunn (52 off 71 balls) and Amy Jones (41) to carry on the good effort with a stand of 83 in 101 balls for the sixth wicket.
Later, the tail wagged as England added 59 runs in the last five overs with Katherine Brunt making a quick 12 off five balls with a four and a six and Danielle Hazell scoring an unbeaten 19 with three fours in eight balls.
For Lanka, Kaushalya Lokusooriya, Chamani Senevirathne and captain Shashikala Siriwardene picked up two wickets apiece.
England: 238 for 8 in 50 overs (J Gunn 52, A Jones 41; K Lokusooriya 2/49, C Senevirathne 2/35
Sri Lanka: 244 for 9 in 50 overs (C Athapaththu 62, K Lokusooriya 56, Y Mendis 46; K Brunt 2/36, G Elwiss 2/39, A Brindle 2/38).