Source: ECB

Rain stopped Victory

  • +1

England v Sri Lanka – Second ODI

Wantage Road, Northampton

The heatwave is over. Rain prevented England from coasting to a second successive win in the three-match series.

Jon Lewis made two changes, one forced. Emma Lamb suffered back spasms; Mahika Gaur was wisely rested. Backs are precious. But the continued ignoring of Bess Heath left a sour taste in the mouth.

Up stepped Charlie Dean and Alice Davidson-Richards to take leading roles. Dean reasserted her position as the first choice among many highly skilled off-spinners in the country. Her analysis, 7-3-12-2, speaks volumes. ADR had another success with the bouncer she now regularly aims at unprepared batters. Hansima Karunaratne couldn’t get on top of a lifter and skied to Sarah Glenn on the edge.

Kate Cross had a tougher time at the start, facing the left-handed Chamari Athapaththu. It came close to a knock-out decision, fours hurting the off-side fence and sixes lobbed over long-on. But facing the right-handed Vishmi Gunaratne, she returned to type, moving a jaffa away to offer Amy Jones another catch behind.

Athapaththu had cruised to 34, but then Dean trapped her in front and the review decreed Out!

Sri Lanka were then 53-3, and the weakness of their batting was now laid bare. Hasini Perera, in at No 4, was still at the crease (31*) when the heavens opened much later. But in the meantime the team lost six wickets in doubling the score. At one point they lost three in two overs, while adding a paltry three runs. The lack of positive intent through the innings didn’t look good.

The nadir was reached when the non-striker, Achini Kulasuriya, backed up, then turned back as the ball was played gently to Cross at mid-off. Cross threw the bowler’s wicket down and, dear, oh dear, Kulasuriya hadn’t made it home yet. Maybe the coaches need to have their pay docked.

They may yet have doubts about how to improve batting standards. Given the total absence of fast bowlers available, it’s little surprise that only the majestic Athapaththu has found ways of countering England’s array of tall quick bowlers.

What is more disturbing is their fallibility to spin. It should be meat and drink to them, but no; both Dean and Glenn were allowed to look like demons with the ball. Together they bowled 12.5 overs and went for only 28 runs.

All six bowlers Heather Knight called on had the pleasure of taking wickets, Lauren Filer twice inducing edges from batters who looked unwilling to stay strictly in line. These weaknesses merely added to Jones’ harvest of catches.

The game had started an hour late at one o’clock. The heavy rain forecast stayed away for so long that we were lulled into expecting a full game. How silly.

Now England have one game left to regain the respect lost during the unwelcome 1-2 loss in the T20s.


Sri Lanka 106-9
England dnb
No result


England: Beaumont, Bouchier, Knight (captain), Sciver-Brunt, Capsey, Davidson-Richards, Jones (w-k), Dean, Glenn, Cross, Filer

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

Umpires: Anna Harris and Jasmine Naeem

Final fixture:

14 September, Uptonsteel County Ground, Leicester, 12.30 (local time)