World Champions England held Sri Lanka to 187 for 9 to secure a tight, five-run win in the first one-day international of their limited-overs series at the Nondescripts Ground in Colombo. A poor show by the Sri Lankan middle order didn’t do any justice to the great show put on by the bowlers.
Claire Taylor’s half-century, her 22nd in ODIs, held England’s middle order together amid a four-wicket haul for seamer Deepika Rasangika as the visitors were bowled out for 192 after being put in to bat. A middle-order collapse hampered Sri Lanka’s chase, and a tight final over from seamer Jenny Gunn sealed the result for England.
England made a stuttering, losing opener Heather Knight – bowled by left-arm seamer Rukshala Dharmasiri – without a run on the board. With captain Charlotte Edwards and left-hander Lydia Greenway also falling
or single figures, it was left to Taylor and Gunn to repair England’s innings with an 86-run partnership for the 4th wicket.
Rasangika then struck back for the hosts, picking up three wickets in two overs – including that of debutant Fran Wilson first ball – as England slipped to 143 for 6. Wickets fell regularly thereafter, with Laura Marsh and Anya Shrubsole providing the only resistance before the visitors were bowled out in the final over.
Sri Lanka’s chase got off to a positive start, Chamari Polgampola and Chamari Atapattu putting together a 64-run opening stand. After they were parted, however, England’s spinners ran through the middle order. Edwards, Laura Marsh and Danielle Hazell combined to reduce Sri Lanka to 86 for 5 before Eshani Kaushalya and wicketkeeper Dilani Manodara’s 52-run partnership brought Sri Lanka back into the game.
Sri Lanka needed just 55 in slightly over eight overs when Isa Guha returned to the attack and bowled Manodara for a watchful 26.
The lower order managed to keep up the scoring rate, Sripali Weerakkody slamming a 16-ball 19 that included a four and a six, but at a cost of wickets. With six runs needed from the final two deliveries, Gunn had Rasangika caught by Shrubsole and then sealed a slim victory with a dot ball to close the innings.
The teams meet for the second ODI at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on Wednesday before a series of three Twenty20 matches, starting on November 19 at the Nondescripts Ground.
England: 192 (S C Taylor 73, J L Gunn 39, H M D Rasangika 4 for 38)
Sri Lanka: (Chamri Polgampola 32, Chamari Atapattu 30, Eshani Kaushalya 32, Dilani Manodara 26, LA Marsh 2 for 30, C M Edwards 2 for 35, D Hazell 3 for 22)