England and Sri Lanka will engage in a fierce battle in the first T20I of the Sri Lanka tour of England on the 31st of August at 10:30 pm IST. The match will be held at the County Ground in Hove, and it promises to be an exciting encounter as both teams are coming on the back of a successful series. Sri Lanka won the series against New Zealand and England won the white-ball series in the Ashes. These two sides have clashed nine times in the past, and on every occasion, the home team emerged victorious.
In their last meeting, which was at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, England utilized a youthful and experienced team to good effect against Sri Lanka, securing a convincing five-wicket triumph. Katherine Sciver-Brunt’s experience was on full display as she trapped Vishmi Gunaratne with an lbw, thus setting the tone for the rest of the match. Sri Lanka struggled to keep their wickets intact and could only muster 106/9 at the end of their 20 overs. In response, Alice Capsey and Maia Bouchier led England’s chase, and they comfortably won the game.
The Sri Lanka Women's tour of England 2023 is around the corner.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 30, 2023
England – Heather Knight (captain), Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath (wicket-keeper), Amy Jones (wicket-keeper), Freya Kemp, Issy Wong, Danielle Wyatt
Sri Lanka – Chamari Athapaththu (captain), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Vishmi Gunaratne, Nilakshi de Silva, Kaveesha Dilhari, Inoka Ranaweera, Sugandika Kumari, Anushka Sanjeewani (wicket-keeper), Udeshika Prabodhani, Achini Kulasuriya, Kawya Kavindi, Inoshi Fernando, Hansima Karunaratne, Hasini Perera, Imesha Dulani
Players to watch out for:
· Maia Bouchier
Maia Bouchier had an impressive season with the Southern Brave in the Hundred, scoring 268 runs in nine matches at a blistering strike rate of 135.35. She made her debut for England in December 2021 and last represented them in December 2022. In her 12 international innings, she has scored 148 runs and she will be looking to add to her tally in her comeback match against Sri Lanka.
· Freya Kemp
Freya Kemp, who missed the ICC T20 World Cup 2023 due to a back injury, had a fantastic campaign in the Hundred. Although she had a few below-par performances with scores of 3, 2, 2, 0, and 0, she made a strong comeback with a score of 41*(21) against the defending champions. She ended the competition on high with 31(17) in an all-important final. The eyes will be on her as she makes her return to the national team.
· Chamari Athapaththu
For Sri Lanka, their captain Chamari Athapaththu is the player to watch out for. She has been at the forefront of her team’s success ever since she made her international debut. She is the only centurion from Sri Lanka in both formats and has scored the most runs for her country in the T20I format with 2484 runs from her 116 matches. In their recent series against New Zealand, she led Sri Lanka to their first-ever series win and scored two centuries in the three ODI matches. She also scored 82 runs in the T20I series at an average of 41 and a strike rate of 146. Her firepower will be crucial for Sri Lanka to register their first win against the English side.
· Vishmi Gunaratne
Another player to keep an eye on is Vishmi Gunaratne, the young 18-year-old batter who has shown immense promise in her recent outings. She scored her maiden half-century against New Zealand in June 2023. Although she has played in 18 T20Is and has managed just 222 runs at an underwhelming strike rate of 78.72, she has a lot of potential and will be looking to make full use of this opportunity against one of the best sides in the world.
The County Ground in Hove is known for being a batting pitch although it favors the pacers. The average innings score is 110, so anything around that will be a challenging total. Although the teams winning the toss usually prefer to bowl first, the statistics show that winning the toss hardly matters on this pitch, with a win percentage of 50% for the team that bowls first.
Unfortunately, the weather forecast for the match does not look promising, with a high chance of precipitation at 90%. It is also expected to be a humid day, with 88% humidity and a moderate wind speed of 19 km/h. The temperature will hover around 17 degrees Celsius.
Fantasy Playing 11
Amy Jones, Heather Knight, Danni Wyatt, Maia Bouchier, Chamari Athapaththu, Alice Capsey, Kaveesha Dilhari, Kate Cross, Inoka Ranaweera, Sarah Glenn, Oshadi Ranasinghe
Date – August 31, 2023
Time – 10:30 PM IST
Venue – County Ground, Hove
Broadcast – Indian viewers can enjoy the live streaming at Fancode.
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