England 95/2 (14.2)
Tammy Beaumont 50* (43) Chamari Athapaththu 14-1 (3)
Sri Lanka 94/10 (19)
Oshadi Ranasinghe 20 (24), Hansima Karunaratne 19 (35) Linsey Smith 18-3 (4)
By 8 wickets
England marmalised Sri Lanka in the first T20I to claim an 8-wicket victory at the Colts Cricket Club Ground, Colombo. Sri Lanka’s miserable home series drags on.
England romped home achieving the simple target of 95 with 15.4 overs to spare. With little scoreboard pressure, England were off to a good start. They scored 41 runs in the Powerplay losing the solitary wicket of Danielle Wyatt. She was dismissed for 15 runs from 14 balls by skipper Chamari Athapaththu.
Amy Jones (18 runs from 20 balls) was run out by Shashikala Siriwardene in the 11th over. Thereafter Tammy Beaumont, who made a rapid unbeaten 50 from 43 balls, and Natalie Sciver (11* from 9) steered England to victory.
Beaumont went past 1000 T20I runs in the process. When asked to comment on her milestone she remarked, “My dad told me the other night how many I needed to get and I forgot when I was out there. For me it’s all about trying to perform for the team and it’s nice to get an accolade like that but more important to go one-nil up early on and put in a good team performance.”
Earlier, Sri Lanka chose to bat on winning the toss. In her very first over Anya Shrubsole struck twice. First she bowled Athapaththu for 8 runs from 7 balls. Then on the final ball of the over, she had the other opener, Anushka Sanjeewani (5 runs from 8 deliveries), caught by Freya Davies. Sri Lanka were 19-2 at the end of the 3rd over.
Debutant Davies joined Shrubsole in the wickets column when she trapped Umesha Thimashini lbw for 9 runs from 8 balls. Sri Lanka sunk deeper when Shashikala Siriwardene was bowled by Linsey Smith for a 2-ball egg. Sri Lanka were reduced to 46-4 by the end of the Powerplay.
More trouble was to come in the 8th over. First, Harshitha Madavi (5 runs from 5 balls) was caught short of her crease by Shrubsole. Then, Sciver completed a catch off her own bowling to send Imalka Mendis (14 runs from 16 balls) back to the hutch. Mendis was the only top-5 Sri Lankan batter to reach double figures.
The hail of wickets continued. In the following over, Nilakshi de Silva became the second Sri Lankan batter to bag a 2-ball blob. She was bowled by Laura Marsh.
Hansima Karunaratne and Oshadi Ranasinghe then stitched the highest partnership of the innings. Ranashinghe top scored with 20 runs from 24 balls and remained unbeaten. Karunaratne (19 runs from 35 deliveries) was the third Sri Lankan to reach double figures.
Their 31-run stand was broken when Karunaratne was bowled by Davies in the 18th over. Smith wrapped up the Sri Lankan innings in the 19th over. She had Achini Kulasuriya stumped for 1 run from 5 balls. On the final ball of her spell she pinned Inoshi Priyadharshani lbw to hand Sri Lanka the third 2-ball duck of their innings. Sri Lanka were all out for 94, failing to bat out their full quota.