CWG 2022: Bowlers, Alice Capsey guide England to five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka

Sophie Ecclestone, Freya Kemp and Issy Wong starred with the ball while Alice Capsey made a fine 44 in guiding England to a five-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in their opening Group B match of the women’s T20 event in 2022 Commonwealth Games at Edgbaston.

After the bowlers restricted Sri Lanka to 106/9 from their 20 overs, England were in trouble when they lost their openers in the first four overs. But Alice, with the help of stand-in captain Nat Sciver and then Maia Bouchier, got England over the line in chase of 107 in 17.1 overs.

Veteran pacer Katherine Brunt, playing in her 100th T20I match, set the tone for England by taking a wicket with the very first ball of the match, trapping Vishmi Gunaratne lbw. She then conceded just eight runs from her three overs as Sri Lanka struggled to get consistent partnerships.

Sophie immediately got down to work by grabbing a sharp caught and bowled chance of Hasini Perera. It was followed by left-arm pacer Freya claiming a first-ball wicket by castling captain Chamari Athapaththu for 10.

Freya’s second wicket came by dismissing Kavisha Dilhari. It was Issy’s turn to get into the act by getting the better of Nilakshi de Silva and Anushka Sanjeewani. Sophie took two late wickets to finish with 3/25 while fellow spinner Sarah Glenn dismissed Ama Kanchana to end with 1-19 in her four overs.

In reply, England’s chase got off to a poor start with Danni Wyatt dismissed in the second over to Oshadi Ranasinghe. She would then get the wicket of Sophia Dunkley. But the class and composure showed by teenaged Alice in her knock of 44 meant England were on track during the chase.

Left-arm spinner Inoka Ranaweera caused late scare to England by dismissing Nat and Amy Jones in quick succession and had Alice stumped as well. But Maia shone with an unbeaten 21 to seal an England win.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 106/9 in 20 overs (Nilakshi de Silva 25; Sophie Ecclestone 3/25, Issy Wong 2/10, Freya Kemp 2/14) lost to England 109/5 in 17.1 overs (Alice Capsey 44, Maia Bouchier 21 not out; Inoka Ranaweera 3-29, Oshadi Ranasinghe 2-20) by five wickets.

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