Source: ECB

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England v Sri Lanka – First ODI
Riverside, Chester-le-Street

The PA announcement might have been: ’We apologise for any inconvenience’. England won by a street.

Jon Lewis picked a team that many more fans might have agreed with than during the 1-2 reverse in the T20s.

He opted more for pace than spin, which was limited to Sarah Glenn and Alice Capsey. Kate Cross was retained, looking like insurance cover for the promising but inexperienced quicks, Lauren Filer and Mahika Gaur.

It worked like magic. In the fifth over Gaur dealt with the main threat, Chamari Athapaththu, finding an edge with pace and lift. Then she repeated the dose with her partner, Anushka Sanjeewani.

Harshitha Samarawickrama stayed around to compile the top score (35), but by the time she was dismissed (caught behind from a delighted Capsey), Sri Lanka’s hopes had been squashed. (95-7)

A star peformance by Gaur (she bagged a third wicket in a late second spell) was mirrored by Filer. She too picked up three, encouraging unwise batters to hang a bat out only to find an edge.

These in turn helped Amy Jones set a keeper’s record, bagging five victims. One variation was a fine leg-side take to dismiss the left-handed Hasini Perera.

Sarah Glenn used Sophie Ecclestone’s enforced absence to press her case. Her analysis, 8-1-20-3, was an outstanding return.

So the visitors subsided to a very under-par 106 in only the 31st over. This is what all England fans had been expecting as the series began. Fate dictated otherwise.

The Reply

Inevitably there was a sense of anti-climax in the crowd after the interval, but hardly for the players.

Both the openers, Emma Lamb and Tammy Beaumont, had points to prove, though of different kinds.

Together they saw the 50 up in the ninth over, and Sri Lanks were denied any success till Beaumont fell to Inoka Ranaweera’s very first ball. Her edge was well scooped up by Perera. (32/31)

Neither Emma Lamb (27/36) nor the captain (22/22) had the pleasure of seeing the modest total reached. This will be more concerning for Lamb, who still has to convince the management that she’s the one to control the opening overs, but Knight failed once again to show she’s passed through her sticky patch, to where the big scores come easily.

Maia Bouchier was allowed in ahead of NS-B, to ensure her debut in this format; a thoughtful gesture. They saw the game to a close as early as the eighteenth over. That’s where some spectators might feel hard done by; beer-matches are very much a thing of the past.

Two Cameos

When you claim that X is a rather fine player, it helps when she proves it conclusively with cricket’s magic ingredient, stats.

Examples: Amy Jones, ‘the best keeper in the world’, claimed five victims. Needless to say, they included some remarkable examples of the keeper’s art.

Tammy Beaumont, ‘in the form of her life’ – this season, two double hundreds against Australia, the biggest innings of all in the Hundred (118), men and women. When she was allowed back into the team in County Durham, she failed to produce a mountain of runs, but, with a strike-rate of 103, proved the fastest scorer in the match.

Now we are left wondering whether Lewis may adjust his next Eleven. Kate Cross’ place must be in jeopardy (quite accurate, but wicketless). Would the boss be proactive enough to reduce the fast attack to three relative newcomers? I’m feeling very brave. Dani Gibson may have itchy fingers.


Sri Lanka 106 (30.2 overs; Glenn 3-20, Gaur 3-26, Filer 3-27 ) England 107-3 (RR 5.94)

England win by seven wickets

: Beaumont, Lamb, Knight (captain), Sciver-Brunt, Capsey, Bouchier, Jones (w-k), Glenn,
Cross, Filer, Gaur

Sri Lanka: Athapaththu (captain), Madavi, Gunaratne, de Silva, Dilhari, Sanjeewani (w-k), Ranasinghe, Ranaweera, Kulasuriya, Perera, Prabodhani

Next fixture:
12 September, County Ground, Northampton, 12.30