Cardiff: England clinched the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka with a five-wicket win in the second game here at Sophia Gardens on Thursday.
The home side chased down the rain-revised target of 103 in the 17th over.
Earlier, Sri Lanka won the crucial toss and elected to bat. Lankan batters put yet another disappointing show as they end up with just 111 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs. Mark Wood was the pick among the bowlers for the English side as the quick scalped two wickets for 18 runs in 4 overs.
Lankan bowlers were quite impressive for the first seven overs as they kept away side in the match. While chasing the target England was 36 for 4 in the seventh over as Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Isuru Udana, and Wanindu Hasaranga all having struck once apiece.
For the home side, Livingstone and Billings then shared a crucial stand of 33 to take them within 43 runs of victory, when continuous drizzling interrupted the game. England then needed just another 34 runs in six overs as per the DLS Method.
After the rain, the target never seemed daunting to the English side as they cruised towards the victory. Billings became the second wicket for Hasaranga. Livingstone remained not out on 29 off 26 with Sam Curran, 16 of 8 balls who smashed the winning runs.
The third T20I will take place at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
Eoin Morgan, England captain, said, ‘With the WC in mind, this is a good challenge. It’s normally a good wicket to bat on, but with the hiccup we had early, we tried to force the equation with the bat, but Sam and Liam showed the depth we had. Liam impressed in every opportunity, and Sam filled Jos’s shoes nicely too. Liam has an abundance of swagger – may be a Lancashire thing and we let him be that way, and he likes to contribute in all facets of the game. Wood is just amazing, with that pace, we’re really fortunate to have someone like him in fine form.’
Kusal Perera , SL captain, stated, ‘Not ideal to be on the losing side, but our bowling was good. The concern is the batting. The conditions are not an excuse, and we need 140-150 to give our bowlers a chance. Our intent is positive cricket, but we haven’t executed too well. We need to get back up soon.’