England 109/2 (13.5)
Danielle Wyatt 37 (25), Amy Jones 36 (24) Shashikala Siriwardene 26-2 (4)
Sri Lanka 108/6 (20)
Chamari Athapaththu 24 (30) Katherine Brunt 31-2 (4), Laura Marsh 16-1 (4)
By 8 wickets
If you were overcome by a feeling of déjà vu during the second T20I between England and Sri Lanka at the Colts Cricket Club Ground in Colombo, you would be right. For the match was uncannily similar to the first T2OI between these two sides.
Sri Lanka were beaten hollow second time in a row. They could muster just 108 runs when they opted to bat first. Shockingly, 21 of those were extras of which were 18 wides. England then hared after the target in 13.5 overs to secure the T20I series with one match to go. Today’s victory was England’s 9th consecutive limited-overs win.
They were off to a flier during the chase. Skipper Chamari Athapaththu used as many as five bowlers in the Powerplay including herself. But she could not stem the flow of runs. Both the English openers went toe to toe. Athapaththu bore the brunt of Amy Jones’s willow when she went for 23 runs in her two overs. 67 whopping runs were racked up in the Powerplay.
Their runaway stand ended when Danielle Wyatt (37 runs from 25 balls) was stumped by Dilani Manodara off the bowling of Shashikala Siriwardene. Siriwardene got rid of the second opener too when she had Jones caught out for 36 runs from 24 balls.
As in the previous match, Tammy Beaumont (16 runs from 21 balls) and Natalie Sciver (10 runs from 13 balls) donned the mantle of Driving-England-Home. They took their time to get there. But, when the target is small and the overs plentiful speed is of little concern.
Sri Lanka had begun well with 42 runs in the Powerplay. Linsey Smith had a horrific first over, the sixth of the Powerplay, which went for 18 runs, including a couple of 5-runs wide.
Athapaththu was bowled by Sciver in the 8th over, top-scoring with 24 runs from 30 balls. Siriwardene (15 runs from 13 balls) was the second wicket to fall, trapped lbw by Sophia Dunkley Brown. Next over, Imalka Mendis was bowled by captain Heather Knight for 15 from 21 balls.
Harshitha Madavi and Hansima Karunaratne briefly revived Sri Lankan hopes with a mini stand of 18 runs. Madavi (8 runs from 14 balls) soon became the third batter to be bowled in the Sri Lankan innings, Katherine Brunt this time causing the damage.
Karunaratne (10 runs from 22 balls) aped her fellow batters in the mode of dismissal. Now Laura Marsh was the one who disturbed the furniture. And, we had a hat-trick of bowled wickets. Sri Lanka were once again in disarray at 88-5 with just two overs to go.
Oshadi Ranasinghe (7 runs from 9 balls) was out in the 19th over, caught by Sciver off the bowling of Brunt. Brunt’s over saw yet another 5-run wide. Yet again, Sri Lanka were guilty of a poor batting performance scoring just 48 runs in the final 10 overs. Sri Lanka will now have only pride to play for when they face England in the final T20I on Thursday.