England crushed Sri Lanka in the first T20I by eight wickets at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Wednesday (June 24). A strong bowling performance and a destructive opening partnership assisted the hosts to go 1-0 up the three-match series.
Chasing a paltry target of 130, Jos Buttler completely demolished the Lankan bowling attack, smashing them all over the park. The explosive wicketkeeper-batsman played an unbeaten knock of 68 runs off 55 deliveries to guide his side to a comfortable victory.
Buttler smashed eight fours and one six during his blistering innings. He was well supported by Jason Roy, who scored 22-ball 36 runs, including 4 fours and a maximum. The duo put together 80 runs in 9 overs to completely take the game away from the visitors.
For Sri Lanka, Isuru Udana and Dushmantha Chameera bagged one wicket each. While Udana conceded 30 runs in his quota of 4 overs, Chameera gave away 24 runs in 3.1 overs. Nuwan Pradeep was their most expensive bowler as he ended up conceding 23 runs in 2 overs at a dreadful economy rate of 11.50.
Earlier, English bowlers dominated the proceedings after Sri Lanka opted to bat first. Dasun Shanaka was the only batsmen to survive for a longer period and scored a much-needed half-century to help his side reach a decent total.
Shanaka made 50 from 44 balls before Sam Curran dismissed him. Sri Lanka captain Kusal Perera was the second-highest run-getter with 30 runs to his credit. Curran picked up two wickets for 25 runs in 3 overs.
Leg-spinner Adil Rashid was the most successful bowler for England. Rashid gave away only 17 runs in his quota of 4 overs and bagged a couple of wickets. Apart from the leggie, Mark Wood (1/33), Chris Jordon (1/29), Liam Livingstone (1/9) picked up one wicket apiece.
Here is how Twitter reacted:
This is Jos Buttler's ninth half-century in 20 innings opening in T20 for England
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) June 23, 2021
— ICC (@ICC) June 23, 2021
A chase bossed by Jos. 💥
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) June 24, 2021
Jos Buttler has now played 20 innings as an opener in T20Is with 795 runs & 9 fifty-plus scores, averaging 53 & striking at 150. Of the 61 batsmen to have played 20+ innings as opener in T20Is, none average better than Buttler's 53 & only six others have scored quicker.#ENGvSL
— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) June 23, 2021
Jos Buttler scored a match winning unbeaten 68 in 55 balls against Sri Lanka to take England home. Sam Curran picked 2/25 with the ball earlier, Adil Rashid also picked two wickets.
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) June 24, 2021
50 for Jos Buttler at Sophia Gardens, some player 😍#ENGvSL
— The County Cricket Podcast (@TheCountyCrick2) June 23, 2021
— ThePoppingCrease (@PoppingCreaseSA) June 23, 2021
Adil Rashid finishes with 2-17 off his four overs. Just another day in the office for him. Hell of a white-ball bowler.
— Lawrence Booth (@the_topspin) June 23, 2021
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) June 23, 2021
Accurate with the ball ⚪
Powerful with the bat 🏏
A dominant win 💪
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 23, 2021