All-round England Women secure clean-sweep

All-round England Women secure clean-sweep

KATUNAYAKE, Sri Lanka: England strengthened their position on the ICC Women’s Championship points table on Thursday with a comfortable eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka to take the series 3-0.

The defeat means Sri Lanka will now have to participate in the qualifying tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021.

England’s bowlers did an excellent job in the third and final One-day International, bowling Sri Lanka out for just 174 in exactly 50 overs, and the target was chased down with utmost ease as Amy Jones and Tammy Beaumont scored half-centuries.

The openers forged a 127-run stand for the opening wicket before Jones was dismissed for 76 off just 58 balls by Milinda Siriwardene – her third successive half-century this series. Beaumont too went past her fifty before being bowled, again by Siriwardene, for 63.

Lauren Winfield completed the chase with a brisk 29, featuring two fours and a six with Heather Knight for company (3* off 5).

Having opted to bat, Sri Lanka suffered a poor start with Kate Cross dismissing both openers, Hasini Perera and Chamari Atapattu, for single digit scores. Laura Marsh then dismissed Shashikala Siriwardene for 11 before Alex Hartley had Anushka Sanjeewani for 15. Sri Lanka were left reeling at 52/4.

Harshitha Madavi and Hansima Karunaratne put together a 53-run stand to add some substance to the batting effort. Karunaratne was trapped in front by Anya Shrubsole for 28 and Hartley caught Madavi off her own bowling for 42, just when she began inching towards her fifty.

Nilakshi de Silva (18 off 26) and Oshadi Ranasinghe (29 off 25) added some more runs lower down the order, but wickets continued tumbling and ultimately Sri Lanka were unable to get close to the 200-run mark.

England had no such batting stutters in their chase and at one point there was even the possibility that the openers alone would chase the target down. They ultimately lost just the two wickets and won with 23.5 overs to spare.

For Sri Lanka it was their 13th defeat from 14 IWC games and that means they no longer are in contention to earn direct qualification to the next World Cup.

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