England Women kicked off their tour of Sri Lanka in emphatic style, triumphing by 154 runs (DLS) in the first ICC Women's Championship ODI in Hambantota.
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Having been put in to bat, England dominated from the outset, as Amy Jones, Heather Knight and Nat Sciver all hit half-centuries in a lofty 331/7- Sri Lanka utilising seven bowlers but struggling to quell consistent partnerships.
The visiting side were equally potent with the ball, racing through their opponents in the early overs to leave them 46/7, before an admirable, but ultimately fruitless 88-run stand for the ninth wicket propelled the hosts to 159/8.
The convincing win marks England’s fifth victory in a row across both shorter formats, having recorded a clean sweep in the recent T20I series against India.
Jones (79) and Tammy Beaumont (35) opened up proceedings in assertive style, posting 114 between them before falling in consecutive overs, Lauren Winfield also departing shortly after having been run out for two.
England skipper Knight then took the reins alongside Sciver at 118/3, averting the momentary pressure by mounting a 113-run partnership. Having steadied the ship to good effect, Knight then fell to Oshadhi Ranasinghe (2/71) for 61, and Danielle Wyatt came in to help blast the tourists to a big score.
Sciver smashed nine fours in her 93, notching her 12th ODI fifty, while Wyatt posted a quick-fire 26-ball 47 to get England to 331/7, leaving Sri Lanka a steep task ahead.
Their pursuit was hampered early doors when Anushka Sanjeewan was dismissed in the first over without scoring by Katherine Brunt (3/24), who was brilliant throughout. 0/1 soon became 21/5 after Brunt completed her trio of scalps alongside one from Anya Shrubsole and a Kate Cross run out, skipper Athapaththu’s 30 the only double-figure score in the top seven.
Hansima Karunaratne (4) was also run out before Athapaththu’s resistance broke to Cross (2/33), making way for a spirited 88-run stand between number eight, Nilakshi Damayanthi (45), and number nine, Ranasinghe (51*), who claimed her maiden international fifty.
Play was disrupted by rain at 127/7, and after losing 10 overs to the interruptions, Sri Lanka were tasked with the impossible mission of scoring 187 off the remaining five overs.
Damanyathi then became Cross’s final victim before stumps, and England finished the first bout of the series having outplayed their opponents across all departments.
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