Chamari Athapaththu was again the star for Sri Lanka as they earned a historic Twenty20 international series win against England.
Athapaththu claimed figures of three for 21 as the hosts were bowled out for 116 before whacking 44 to fire her side to a seven-wicket victory, which sealed a memorable 2-1 series success in the decider at Derby.
The Sri Lanka captain hit a half-century in Saturday’s win at Chelmsford and again brought the fireworks, plundering two sixes and five fours in her 28-ball innings.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 6, 2023
It meant that England lost a T20 series to a team other than Australia for the first time since 2010, while also losing a first-ever white-ball series to Sri Lanka.
The opening ball of the match set the tone for England’s disappointing innings as Danni Wyatt slapped a gentle long hop straight to cover and it got worse after a calamitous run out at the end of the second over, where Maia Bouchier and Alice Capsey were both at the same end.
They never got to grips with Sri Lanka’s array of slower bowlers, with skipper Athapaththu taking three wickets and Udeshika Prabodhani and Kavisha Dilhari both claiming two victims apiece.
Bouchier top scored with 23 while Danielle Gibson added 21 late as England failed to see out their overs.
Athapaththu came out firing and did the leg work of Sri Lanka’s chase in the first seven overs, hitting Kate Cross and 17-year-old Mahika Gaur over the ropes in an array of boundaries.
Her dismissal with score on 65 could have opened the door for England, but they could not make regular inroads and the visitors got over the line with 18 balls to spare.