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Sri Lanka crush England to level women's T20 series


Sri Lanka women have beaten England for the first time in T20 internationals, and done so in convincing style led by skipper Chamari Athapaththu.

The tourists' captain smashed 55 in 31 balls as Sri Lanka chased down 105 at Chelmsford with eight wickets in hand, levelling the T20 series at 1-1.

Heather Knight's team were brought back down to earth after a golden summer with an all-round poor display at the County Ground where only Charlie Dean's 34 down the order prevented an even heavier loss.

England were in danger of being out for less than their lowest T20 score, 87 all out against Australia in 2015, but scrambled to 104.

It was still not enough to deny Sri Lanka a maiden T20 win over England at the 10th time of asking with Athapaththu leading from the front to set up a winner-takes-all clash at Derby on Wednesday.

England had swatted the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of Hove on Thursday in a total of 186 for four off 17 overs, but this display could have not been more different.

Openers Danni Wyatt and Maia Bouchier departed during the powerplay and No.3 Alice Capsey holed out in between after growing frustrated at a succession of dot balls.

From 3-21 Knight and Amy Jones put on 20 but Inoka Ranaweera dismissed both.

The hosts slumped to 6-48, then 8-66 before Dean took them past the century mark.

Sri Lanka lost opener Anushka Sanjeewani in the second over but Athapaththu smashed 21 off the next over with Kate Cross hit all around the ground, including a huge pull for six.

Knight turned to Izzy Wong, but the seamer struggled and produced an eventful 10-ball over with an array of no-balls.

Sri Lanka ended the powerplay on 1-67 and cruised to victory with 40 balls to spare.