England women fall to one of the worst series defeats in their history after Sri Lanka double down and ease to second successive T20 win
- England’s women were soundly beaten by eighth side in the world Sri Lanka
- England were without big names such as Nat Sciver-Brunt and Tammy Beaumont
- Sri Lanka win the three game series after successive victories in Hove and Derby
England women crashed to one of the worst series defeats in their history when Sri Lanka cruised to a second successive T20 victory last night at Derby.
Sri Lanka, the eighth ranked side in world women’s T20 cricket, started this three-match series as huge underdogs but followed up their convincing win at Chelmsford on Saturday with another emphatic performance to stun England.
The scale of the upset cannot be over-estimated. Sri Lanka had never beaten England in any short-form international before the second game of this series in Essex when they were replying to England’s far from convincing Duckworth-Lewis victory at Hove.
Now Sri Lanka followed up their first win against England with an historic second and in the process completed their first series win against any side outside Asia since 2003.
Harshitha Samarawickrama hit a four to seal an historic seven-wicket victory for Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka had never beaten England in any short-form international before this series started
It was also the first time England had lost any series to any side other than Australia since 2010, a reflection of the scale of this shock in women’s cricket.
While that is an embarrassment for England it is a hugely positive sign for a women’s game which is dominated by Australia and to a lesser extent the professionals of England.
This was the first series since the ECB announced they would be giving the England women’s team the same prize money as the men so the timing of the defeat could not be worse for Heather Knight and her side.
Admittedly, England have been without some of their best players in Nat Sciver-Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Bell but they should still have had far too much quality for a Sri Lanka side who looked naïve in the field in the first game at Hove.
In particular England were unable to cope with Sri Lanka’s array of spinners both at Chelmsford and at Derby which is a worrying sign as they continue to plan for the next Twenty20 World Cup which will be held in Bangladesh in a year’s time.
Maia Bouchier, given a chance at the top of the order in this series in the absence of the rested Sophia Dunkley and the curiously overlooked Beaumont, top scored with just 23 as far too many England batters threw their wickets away as they crashed to 116 all out.
Then Sri Lanka reached their target for the loss of just three wickets with 18 balls to spare as the England bowlers failed to pose anything like the same threat, Sarah Glenn taking two of the three wickets to fall.
‘Sri Lanka played brilliantly and came out with a clear plan and that has identified areas where need to be better,’ said England captain Knight. ‘We played a young team but that’s no excuse. We should have had enough quality on the park but we’ve been a bit off and have been punished by Sri Lanka. We need to adapt as a batting unit.’
Now the teams will contest a one-day series, starting in Durham on Saturday, with England, having been brought down to earth with a bump after the drawn Ashes series, given considerable food for thought.
England’s Maia Bouchier was brought in for Tammy Beaumont and top scored with just 23 runs
England’s loss comes just a year before the T20 World Cup which will be held in Bangladesh