Friday, 7 February 2014

England Academy and Sri Lanka XI share T20 series

A T20 double header at the Pramadasa Stadium in central Colombo brought the England Academy v Sri Lanka XI T20 series to a close. In the morning's game Sri Lanka triumphed by 14 runs as England failed to chase down Sri Lanka's 137/4. In the afternoon it was England's turn to come out on top winning by a hefty eight wickets,chasing down Sri Lanka's under par 111/8 with 18 balls to spare.

In the first game some of Sri Lanka's more senior members of their 40 woman squad took to the crease and all seemed comfortable against the England attack. Having got them off to a good start the youngster Perera (25) hoisted Sonia Odedra to Helen Shipman at long-off in the last of the first six powerplay overs, with the score on 38. After a further 50 run partnership with the day's skipper, Siriwardene, Atapattu (35) went in similar fashion in the 14th over, as Odedra returned to finish her spell (2/26). Sri Lanka managed to add 32 in the last 5 overs, losing Siriwardene (29) in the 17th and Surangika (7) off the last ball of the innings to reach 137/4, which looked a reasonable total on a good deck, but with slightly larger boundaries and a much slower outfield than at the Nondescripts' ground earlier in the week.

After a blistering 22 off the last six balls in the previous game, Alex McDonald, was promoted to the pinch-hitter opener's spot, with skipper Tammy Beaumont. After six overs though England had only reached 35/1 with Beaumont (7) bowled through the gate by Weerakkody. McDonald continued to swing lustily but without quite the success of the previous game and she finally came unstuck in the 10th over for 24 with the score on 58/2. In fact the main impetus was provided by Fran Wilson (44 off 36 balls, including five of the ten boundaries hit by England). But having been up with the run rate at the end of the 10th over (62/2), the run rate started to slip as boundaries became a rare commodity. Helen Shipman went for 8 in the 16th over and Wilson in the next as the required rate moved up from just over six an over to over nine by the end of the 15th (89/2) and then over 13 by the end of the 17th over (98/4). Hollie Armitage (9) managed a defiant 6 in the 18th over but was then bowled in the next, by which time the game had gone. Jodie Dibble (9) was stumped off the last ball as England finished well short.

scorecard -

In the afternoon game Sri Lanka fielded a much younger side and it showed. Electing to bat they managed to get to 71/1 by the end of the 10th over thanks to a decent partnership between Weerakkody (30) and Perera (26), plus a healthy smattering of wides from the England girls. But three wickets fell for two runs to Georgia Holmes (1/23) and Steph Butler (3/18) and the Sri Lanka innings went into freefall. Only 38 more runs were added in the next 8.4 overs as England bowled tighter lines and protected the boundary. Jodie Dibble (2/16) helped herself to a run out and two wickets in the last over as Sri Lanka limped to 111/8.
Holly Armitage swings away another 4 to reach her 50
England sent in two pinch-hitters this time in the shape of Alex McDonald and Hollie Armitage to try and make use of the first six overs. And it worked, after a fashion, with England on 41/1 after the initial powerplay (McDonald going for 12 in the fifth). Hollie Armitage (60) was in the mood by this time, and as Sri Lanka tried out eight different bowlers she straight drove and pulled her way to a fine half-century. She was finally stumped swinging a little wearily in the 14th over, by which time England were nearly home on 97/2. It was left to Fran Wilson (20*) and Tammy Beaumont (8*) to steer the ship into port with three overs to spare.

This tied the series 2-2. The teams meet again at the same stadium on Sunday in the first of two 50 over games which are going to be long tough games in the 33 degree heat.

scorecard -



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