HISTORIC – Sri Lanka women’s team win their first T20I series against England

We have been witnessing an edge-of-the-seat contest between these two sides right throughout the course of the T20I series which commenced on 31st August 2023 at the Hove. The hosts clinched the rain-affected first T20I on the back of impressive performances from the batting unit. The visitors, Sri Lanka bounced back in style as they clinched the second T20I to level the series. Now, it all comes down to the decider at Derby.

HISTORIC - Sri Lanka women's team win their first T20I series against England. PC: Getty
HISTORIC – Sri Lanka women’s team win their first T20I series against England. PC: Getty

 

Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu won the toss and opted to field first in the third T20I. After being inserted to bat first, the home side got off to a poor start as they lost a couple of wickets inside the first three overs. The right-arm off-spinner Inoshi Priyadharshani provided the first breakthrough for Sri Lanka on the first ball of the innings by dismissing England opener Dannielle Wyatt for a golden duck.

Skipper Heather Knight joined Maia Bouchier at the crease and the duo brought some sort of stability to the innings by stitching a 30-run partnership for the third wicket. Udeshika Prabodhani dismissed Maia Bouchier on the last ball of the powerplay to bring the visitors into a position of strength.

With England in a bit of trouble, wicket-keeper batter Amy Jones joined skipper Heather Knight at the crease, and the duo attempted to bring stability to the innings with a 29-run partnership for the fourth wicket. However, the right-arm spinner Kavisha Dilhari provided a massive breakthrough by dismissing skipper Heather Knight to dent England’s hopes of posting a competitive total on the board further.

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The home side suffered a huge collapse as they lost their last six wickets for just 46 runs and were eventually bundled out for 116 with an over to spare. Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu (3/21) was the pick of the bowlers alongside Udeshika Prabodhani (2/16) and Kavisha Dilhari (2/16), bagging two wickets a piece. The England batters failed to convert their starts into a big score as they succumbed to spin.

Chasing a target of 117, the Sri Lankan openers got off to a flying start, eating down almost 50% of their target in the powerplay. Right-arm off-spinner Alice Capsey provided the first breakthrough for England by dismissing Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu after the powerplay. However, she had done the damage by scoring 44 runs at an impressive strike rate of 157.14.

Harshitha Samarawickrama joined wicket-keeper batter Anushka Sanjeewani at the crease, but the duo couldn’t last long as the Leg-spinner Sarah Glenn dismissed Anushka Sanjeewani on the last ball of the eighth over. The Sri Lankan innings fumbled a little bit towards the end. However, Harshitha Samarawickrama alongside Hasini Perera, eventually saw their side over the line to seal a historic victory with three overs to spare.

Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu (44 off 28 balls) was the top run-scorer for her side, while, the 24-year-old leg-spinner Sarah Glenn (2/23) was the top performer with the ball for England. Chamari Athapaththu was awarded the Player of the Match as well as the Player of the Series for her brilliant all-round performance throughout the T20I series.

Sri Lanka (2-1) have registered their first series win in any format against England. The series triumph also marks their first T20I series outside Asia. The last time England women lost a bilateral T20I series on home soil to a team other than Australia, was New Zealand back in the year 2010. That alone tells a lot about the quality of the series we’ve had!

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