England displayed their superiority steamrolling Sri Lanka by 8 wickets in the T20 opener at Cardiff to go 1-up in the 3-match series yesterday. Sri Lanka floundered managing a paltry 127 for 7 wickets having taken first lease which the hosts made light of galloping to 130 for 2. If the England bowling demonstrated clinical professionalism destroybg the Lankan batting, their batting was as high class making light of the opposite bowling attack finishing it off with 17 balls to spare. Opener Jos Butler struck a forceful unbeaten 68 off 55 studded with 8 boundaries and a six to lead the victory charge putting on 80 for the first wicket off 9.1 overs with Jason Roy making 36 off 22 hitting 4 boundaries and a six. After losing Dawid Malan for 7, Johnny Bairstow 13 (1×4, 1×6) stepped in to put the icing on the cake for England in that finish off.
The only noteworthy contributors for Sri Lanka were No. 6 Dasun Shanaka with 50 off 44 (3×4, 2×6) and No. 3 skipper Kusal Janith Perera 30 off 26 (1×4, 1×6) after a disastrous start losing Avishka Fernando for a duck in the third over by Curran. Danushka Gunathilaka (16) and Kusal Janith Perera revived the innings adding 28 when the former was dispatched by Jordan edging behind to Jos Butler off the third delivery of the fourth over and further disaster set in when Kusakl Mendis fell for 9 leg before wicket to Livingstone by the 7th over – 49 for 3, and Dhananjaya de Silva four balls later for 3 to Wood to a catch to Rashid – 52 for 4 by the third ball of over 8 and the writing was on the wall for the Lankans despite Shanaka’s pinch hitting knock as wickets tumbled around. England’s attack was in depth with Adil Rashid 2 for 17 and Sam Curran 2 for 30 while Mark Wood, Chris Jordan and Liam Livingstone spot on with a wicket each.
In the gloom of the under lights night starter, the Sri Lankan camp would be ruing its selection choices.
SRI LANKA 129/7 (20 Overs) RR: 6.45
(Dasun Shanaka 50, Kusal Janith Perera 30, Danushka Gunathilaka 16, Adil Rashid 2/17, Sam Curran 2/30, Liam Livingstone 1/9, Chris Jordan 1/29, Mark Wood 1/33)
ENGLAND 130/2 (17.1 Overs) RR: 7.57
(Jos Butler n.o. 68, Jason Roy 36, Johnny Bairstow n.o. 13, Dushmantha Chameera 1/24, Isuru Udana 1/30)