Buttler slams unbeaten 68 as England thrash Sri Lanka

Jos Buttler smashed an unbeaten 55-ball 68, while Sam Curran and Adil Rashid took two wickets each as England thrashed Sri Lanka by eight wickets in the opening T20 International to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series here.

Chasing a 130-run target set by Sri Lanka, the England batsmen, led by Buttler, reached the target in the first ball of the 17th over with 17 balls remaining on Wednesday.

England openers, Jason Roy and Buttler, took advantage of an inexperienced Sri Lanka bowling attack, scoring 61 runs in the first six overs of the power play.

Buttler’s innings, with eight boundaries and a six, earned him the Player-of-the-Match award.

Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Perera won the toss and elected to bat. However, the visitors did not get off to a good start and Avishka Fernando was dismissed in the second over for a duck.

Perera, along with Dasun Shanaka, tried to build the innings, but Adil Rashid dismissed the Sri Lanka skipper on 30 just when he had started looking dangerous.

Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka’s only batsman to score a half century (50 off 44 balls), took the visitors to a fighting total. This was Shanaka’s second half-century of his T20I career.

The second match will be played here later on Thursday.

Brief scores: Sri Lanka 129/7 in 20 overs (K. Perera 30, D. Shanaka 50; S. Curran 2/25, A. Rashid 2/17) lost to England 130/2 in 17.1 overs (J. Buttler 68 not out, J. Roy 36) by eight wickets.