England clashed with Sri Lanka in the second game of the three-match T20I series at Cardiff Wales Stadium on Thursday.
Eoin Morgan & Co. had earlier thrashed the Islanders by eight wickets in the first contest, and it was a do or die encounter for the Lankans to stay alive in the series.
Opting to bat first, the Kusal Perera-led team never looked in control as they lost both their openers for a paltry score of 18. Perera, along with Kusal Mendis, tried to do the recovery work, but all went in vain since England bowlers didn’t let the run rate rise above six. Sri Lankan batsmen tried extravagant shots under the pump, which helped Adil Rashid and Mark Wood bamboozle them.
The visitors were stranded at 76/4 in 13.2 overs. The remaining batters also could trouble the scorers much and they faltered at 111/7 in their allotted twenty overs.
In response, the England batsmen, too, didn’t had a sunny start and lost two wickets for a mere eight runs on board. Morgan and Jason Roy spent some time at the crease, but Isuru Udana and Wanindu Hasaranga removed the two, and the hosts were reduced to 36/4 in 6.3 overs.
The next batters – Sam Billings and Liam Livingstone – steadied the ship and took their side to 69/4 in 12 overs. Soon, rain gods interrupted the play and the target was reduced to 103 runs in 18 overs.
Overall, the duo put on a 54 runs partnership before Billings’ stumps were uprooted on a talismanic delivery bowled by Hasaranga. Thus, Billings departed for a 29-ball 24 consisting of two boundaries. Though Sri Lanka got the breakthrough they needed, they couldn’t capitalize on it as the opposition needed just 13 runs from 21 balls.
Sam Curran then along with Livingstone took his side over the finish line in style by hitting a towering six off Udana. Livingstone scored an unbeaten 29 off 26 balls with the help of one six.
England won the contest by five wickets, taking an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the process. Livingstone was awarded the ‘Player of the Match’ for his exploits with the bat and an economical two over spell with the ball.
An incredible runout 😱
And a calm knock from Livi 😎
As we wrapped up the series 👏 pic.twitter.com/3WBvrIcMsX
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 25, 2021