Clinical bowling performances by Hartley, Shrubsole, Marsh and Jones, Beaumont and Winfield in batting saw England cruising to a 6 wicket victory.
Having lost the previous match on DLS system by 154 runs, Sri Lanka hosted England at Hambantota for the 2nd of the 3 matches in ICC Women’s Championship.
Both the teams made changes to their teams. Sri Lanka made two changes as Perera and Prabodhini made way for Fernando and Kulasuriya while England rested Brunt and brought in Hartley.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first.
The skipper Atapattu and Weerakkody opened the innings for Sri Lanka while Shrubsole and Cross started the bowling in absence of Brunt. The pair made a cautious start as first runs on the scoreboard came in the 3rd over. In the 4th over Atapattu scored 3 consecutive boundaries off Cross. At the end of 10 overs Sri Lanka posted 35 runs as the runs were extremely hard to come by.
In the 13th over Marsh provided the first breakthrough when Jones took a catch behind the wicket to dismiss Weerakkody for 17 (41b). Marsh, in her next over struck again to dismiss Atapattu for 22 (45b) in hands of Winfield who took a superb catch in the slip to restrict hosts at 48-2 after 15 overs.
Sri Lanka’s 50 runs on the board came in 17 overs as Siriwardene and Sanjeewani looked to stabilise the innings. They added 24 runs in 9 overs but the partnership ended when Hartley clean bowled Sanjeewani for 14 (33b) in 24th over. Two overs later, well set Siriwardene fell to Shrubsole for 13 (34b).
Karunaratne joined Madavi at 73-4 and slowly started adding runs to the scoreboard. Both batters picked up boundaries in regular intervals despite tight bowling and fielding by England. In the 33rd over Sri Lanka posted 100 on the board as the run rate started picking up marginally when both batters settled down. Madavi slammed 2 boundaries in Marsh’s over to bring the 50-run partnership for the hosts.
Often, a run-out appears as the only way by which a set partnership can get broken and exactly that’s what happened when Karunaratne was found short of the crease for 28 (60b). Madavi departed in the next over as Shrubsole had her caught by the skipper Knight for a superb 42 (46b), which had 5 fours.
In the penultimate over Cross trapped Ranasinghe in front of the wicket for 10 and Hartley picked up 2 wickets on the final 2 deliveries as Kulasuriya and de Silva departed for 5 and 19 respectively to end the Sri Lanka innings for 187-9 in 50 overs.
Hartley picked up 3 wickets for England and she was joined by Marsh and Shrubsole with 2 wickets each.
Chasing 188 for victory, Jones and Beaumont started confidently for England. Jones in particular took charge of the chase by hitting four and a six off Fernando in the 4th over. She kept on with her onslaught by hitting at least a boundary in next 3 overs. The 50-run partnership was brought up in just 8 overs. In the 9th over Jones slammed a six and 2 fours to bring her second consecutive 50 in 34 deliveries with 6 fours and 3 sixes.
Jones did not last long as just 5 deliveries and 4 runs later she was caught by Fernando off Ranasinghe for 54 (39b). Winfield joined Beaumont and rotated the strike regularly. 100 for the visitors came in 17th over. Beaumont and Winfied scored 2 boundaries each in 19th and 20th over of the inning to bring 50-run partnership. Winfield scored 2 more boundaries in 22nd over before Fernando clean bowled Beaumont for 43 (60b).
The rain threatened to play spoilsport again as it started to pour when the visitors were comfortably placed at 143-2. However, the play resumed shortly and Winfield departed soon on 44 (41b) in which 7 fours came off her bat.
Sciver joined the skipper Knight with just 36 runs required off 25 overs and ensured that there’s no further collapse of the inning. But she was trapped leg before wicket for 6 by Fernando, who claimed her 3rd wicket. Wyatt and Knight scored the remaining 28 runs in just 5.2 overs to win the game for England by 6 wickets and 99 balls to spare.
Apart from Madavi’s 42, Priyadarshani Fernando’s 3 wickets for 45 was the only highlight for the hosts.
With this victory, England have won the series 2-0 with a game to spare. They have leapfrogged India to secure 2nd place with 16 points in ICC Women’s Championship. Sri Lanka remains at the bottom of the table with just 2 points on the board.
Both sides will meet on 21st March for the final ODI of the series.
Brief Score: Sri Lanka 187-9 (50) (Madavi 42, Hartley 3-36, Shrubsole 2-21, Marsh 2-42) lost to England 188-4 (33.3) (Jones 54, Winfield 44, Beaumont 43, Fernando 3-45)