With their first-ever series victory against England in any format on Wednesday, Sri Lanka’s women’s side made history under the direction of inspirational captain Chamari Athapaththu.
With a commanding seven-wicket win against Heather Knight’s team in the third Twenty20 International in Derby, Athapaththu’s dominance of the game was expected given the series’ record 2-1 victory.
After taking three crucial wickets to help reduce England to only 116, Athapaththu struck brilliantly for 44 off just 28 deliveries, ensuring Sri Lanka reached the winning total with three overs remaining.
With Athapaththu’s outstanding all-around performances—she finished the three matches with 114 runs and five wickets—it was not surprising that she was named Player of the Match and Player of the Series.
Athapaththu’s excellent all-around performance will undoubtedly earn her most of the praise, but she also had a lot of help from her colleagues during the series finale as Sri Lanka easily defeated England by bowling them out for little money.
The match began with a significant wicket for the hosts, taken by Inoshi Priyadharshani (1/15) off the first ball. Udeshika Prabodhani (2/16) and Kavisha Dilhari (2/16) both contributed two wickets, and the hosts were out of the game with the last delivery of the penultimate over.
In response, Athapaththu shot off early to maintain the visitors’ lead. Harshitha Samarawickrama (26*) more than made up for the loss of the Sri Lanka skipper in the seventh over, easing the visitors home.
The three-game ODI series between the two nations will now begin, with the first game taking place at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.