Sri Lanka went down by 89 runs in the 3rd T20I at Southampton to lose the 3-match T20I series against England 3-0.
It was yet another embarrassing performance with the bat from the visitors, who just have not been able to get going in the series. Having scored 129 and 111 in the 1st two games batting first, there was a school of thought that chasing would be easier on the out of form batsmen. But it wasn’t to be, as Sri Lanka put in their worst performance on tour, to be dismissed for 90.
The troubles were all too familiar for the visitors: Danushka Gunathilake played a cracking drive to the boundary to kick off the innings, then guided one straight to slip, Kusal Perera struggled to time the ball, before eventually skying one, Kusal Mendis nicked one and reviewed it…. The list goes on.
Oshada Fernando was brought into the side to replace the injured Avishka Fernando and had perhaps one of his worst performances of his career. The right-hander tried every shot in the book but was just unable to find the middle of the bat and eventually was put out of his misery by Sam Curran.
Records continued to tumble for all the wrong reasons, Sri Lanka’s strikerate of 85.02 across the series – the lowest for any full-member side in any T20I tournament, a false shot percentage of 63.3% in the 1st 10 overs – the highest for ANY team in the 1st 10 overs of an innings (according to CricViz Analyst), among the most damning of them. There were no positives with the bat, after an indecisive, tentative and overall timid display once again.
The bowlers were impressive, particularly Dushmantha Chameera who finished with career-best figures of 4/17 in his 4 overs.
England looked well on their way to a 200+ score before Chameera put on a clinic in death bowling, varying his pace and length perfectly to deceive the batsmen. Chameera, Dasun Shanaka and Binura Fernando combined to dominate the hosts, as England went from 143/1 to 162/6 within 3.5 overs.
Isuru Udana was disappointing, wayward from the word go and was for 14 off the last over of the innings by Chris Jordan, who pushed England to 180.
Wanindu Hasaranga too could not perform to his usual high standards, conceding 42 off 3 overs – just the 2nd time he has conceded 40+ in a T20I, while Lakshan Sandakan bowled with control, despite not picking up any wickets.
Dawid Malan was the star with the bat for England with 76 off 48, putting on 105 for the 1st wicket alongside Jonny Bairstow (51). It was an all-round show with the ball for the hosts, with David Willey the standout with figures of 3/27.
Sri Lanka will now move on to the ODI leg of the tour, but will have a lot to figure out in the 3 days between this game and the 1st ODI, with the team structure likely to stay the same.