England Women opener Tammy Beaumont praised debutant pacer Freya Davies’ strong performance as England picked up a comfortable eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka Women, with 34 balls to spare in the first T20I in Colombo.
Davies took two important wickets in the Sri Lankan middle order as they crashed to 94 all out. Davies first trapped Umesha Thimashini lbw and then bowled Hansima Karunaratne to end an eighth-wicket stand of 31 between her and Oshada Ranasinghe – the highest of the innings. Davies finished with 2/28, after having opened the bowling with Natalie Sciver.
“To see someone like Freya, who has worked so hard and had to make so many sacrifices, choosing her law degree at times and having to miss cricket, to finally get here and perform really well on debut, it’s great to have her here and she’s feeling really well to have got those wickets,” Beaumont said.
Davies had good support from the England attack all around, with five of the six bowlers picking up wickets. Sri Lanka hardly put up a resistance with the bat. Even so, it is easy to get overwhelmed while making a debut, and Davies admitted that it took getting a wicket to calm the nerves down.
“It’s a mixture of fear and excitement, but it was really exciting to get out there with the girls today and get that win,” she said. “It’s a day you’re looking forward to for so long, for it to become reality was kind of strange, but really exciting. Always good to get a couple of wickets, get some of the nerves under control, but just happy that we came out and got a win.
It was a day of records for England. First, Anya Shrubsole, the right-arm medium-pacer, went past Danielle Hazell’s tally of 85 wickets to become the highest wicket-taker for England in women’s T20Is. Then, Beaumont powered the England chase with an unbeaten half-century that took her past 1,000 career T20 international runs.
“I think my dad told me the other night how many I need to get and I figured out when I was out there,” Beaumont said. “For me, it’s about trying to perform for the team, and it’s nice to get to a landmark like that. But more importantly, it’s about going 1-0 up early and putting in a team performance.
"She’s [Shrubsole] been in exceptional form for a very long time now. She’s had a very good winter. Great to see her still running hard at the back end of this tour and taking lot of wickets. She’ll cherish taking that record off her very good friend Danny, I think. Two of them, great mates on and off the field, so it’s probably going to be a celebration for the two of them.”
England have now won eight straight games since losing a pair of one-day internationals to India Women in Mumbai, and Shrubsole is looking forward to keeping that form ahead of an important summer. “Winning’s a habit and that’s what we’re trying to do here,” she said. “Two more games to go and then a summer of really busy cricket with the Ashes and West Indies.”