A fine half-century by Beaumont and superb bowling on the debut by Davis helped England beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets.
On the back of a clean sweep in the ODIs, confident England met Sri Lanka in Colombo for 1st of 3 T20I. England last played a 3 match T20I series against India which they won 3-0 and Sri Lanka’s previous T20I series was against South Africa which resulted in a 3-0 white wash. England gave a debut to Freya Davis.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat.
Sanjeewani and Atapattu started confidently for Sri Lanka and scored a boundary each in the 2nd over. But in the 3rd over Shrubsole dismissed both the openers despite some wayward bowling. The hosts got pegged back at 19-2 after 3 overs.
England bowlers seemed struggling to bowl a good line. Thimashini scored two boundaries in 4th over off Davis but was trapped leg before wicket on the very next delivery to give Davis her first wicket on her debut. Shrubsole bowled another wayward over in which she conceded 2nd boundary off a wide ball. The skipper Knight made the change to bring on Smith. The decision paid off immediately as Siriwardene was bowled on the 1st delivery for 0.
At the end of the powerplay the hosts were struggling at 46-4. The things took turn for the worse as Sri Lanka lost 2 more wickets in the 8th over bowled by Sciver. Marsh made it 56/7 as de Silva was bowled in 9th over for 0. Karunaratne and Ranasinghe built a 31-run partnership but Davis bowled the former for 19 to claim her 2nd wicket and sent the hosts to 87-8.
In the next over, Smith wrapped up the Sri Lanka innings at 94 by dismissing Kulasuriya and Priyadharshini. Ranasinghe remained unbeaten on 20 while Smith picked up 3 wickets whereas Shrubsole and Davis claimed 2 each.
Chasing just 95 runs to win, Wyatt and Beaumont got England off to a flier. Wyatt fell first for 15 in the 4th over when Priyadharshini completed a catch at Mid-on off Atapattu.
At 29-1, the star of the ODI series Jones joined her ODI opening partner Beaumont and kept up the pace. Beaumont, meanwhile reached the landmark of 1000 runs in T20I. She became the 5th England batter to have reached the mark.
Just as England were cruising towards the victory, Jones fell short of her crease at the non-striker’s end for 18 and England lost their 2nd wicket for 68. Sciver joined Beaumont and ensured there were no more setbacks. Beaumont took a single off Siriwardene to bring her 50 in 43 deliveries and clinch the match for England.
This is England’s 4th consecutive T20I victory on the subcontinent. Both the sides will meet on 26th for the 2nd match of the series.
Sri Lanka 94 (Ranasinghe 20*, Smith 3-18, Davis 2-28, Shrubsole 2-20) lost to England 95-2 (Beaumont 50*, Atapattu 1-14) by 8 wickets