England made a 3-nil clean sweep of it winning by a comprehensive 89 runs the third T20 against Sri Lanka at the Rose Gardens, Southampton yesterday. The Lankans got off to a very bad start with the decision putting in England to bat misfiring in the face of a massive 180 for 6 and then coming apart for 91 (18.5 overs) as the hosts reigned in yet another all-round performance.
A bludgeoning 105-run opening stand between Dawid Malan 76 off 48 and Jonny Bairstow 51 off 43 off 11.4 overs saw England off to a perfect start as the Sri Lankan bowlers wilted against a sixes onslaught by Malan who hoisted 4 over the top and 5 boundaries to good effect. Bairstow struck 5 boundaries and a six.
Sri Lanka did make a late fight back through Dushmantha Chameera who claimed 4 wickets in the space of 14 runs including the prize wicket of Malan as England slipped from 2 for 143 to162 for 6 after Binura Fernando had sent back Liam Livingstone for 14. Chameera’s wickets included Sam Billing caught by Shanaka for 2, skipper Eoin Morgan for 1 caught by Danushka Gunathilaka, Malan offering a catch to Shanaka, and Moeen Ali caught by Dhananjaya de Silva for 7.
The 4 for 17 proved to be Chameera’s best career figures at that level, but it would not help Sri Lanka’s cause as by then David Malan had inflicted enough damage for the Player of the Match award. As it was, the Lankan batsmen, overawed by the big target, once again became sitting ducks to a concentrated England bowling juggernaut. The inability of the Lankan batsmen to come to terms with the English bowlers was once again exposed by the highest one could get – 20, and that by No. 9 Binura Fernando.
Pick of the England bowlers was David Willey with 3 for 27 followed by Sam Curran’s 2 for 14 who won the big Player of the Series award.
ENGLAND 180/6 (20 Overs) RR: 9.00
(Dawid Malan 76, Jonny Bairstow 51, Liam Livingstone 14, Dushmantha Chameera 4/17)
SRI LANKA 91 (18.5 Overs) RR: 4.83
(Binura Fernando 20, Oshada Fernando 19, Niroshan Dickwella 11, David Willey 3/27, Sam Curran 2/14)