Allround Edwards inspires England
England 99 for 2 (Edwards 48*, Marsh 29, Rasangika 2-19) beat Sri Lanka 95 for 8 (Siriwardene 22, Edwards 3-21, Hazell 2-15) by eight wickets
A fine allround performance from captain Charlotte Edwards helped England ease to an eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 at the Nondescripts Ground in Colombo. Edwards picked up three cheap wickets as Sri Lanka were restricted to 95 for 8, and then guided England's chase with a fluent, unbeaten 48 as victory was achieved with more than four overs to spare.
Sri Lanka's innings got off to a solid, if unspectacular, start before it was seriously dented by three wickets in the sixth over. Offspinner Danielle Hazell nipped out both openers before Claire Taylor ran Chamari Polgampola out first ball as Sri Lanka slipped to 25 for 3.
Eshani Kaushalya and captain Shashikala Siriwardene set about repairing the innings, but when Kaushalya was caught by Lydia Greenway off Edwards another collapse ensued. Sri Lanka crashed from 60 for 3 to 76 for 8 as Edwards, Laura Marsh and Jenny Gunn ripped through the middle order. Deepika Rasangika and Sripali Weerakkody put on a quickfire 19 for the ninth wicket to boost the total but Sri Lanka couldn't quite pass three figures as they ended on 95 for 8.
Edwards and Marsh launched England's chase with an opening stand of 73 in under 10 overs, quickly putting the result beyond doubt. Marsh cracked three fours in her 29 before being stumped off Rasangika, who struck again soon afterwards to remove Taylor for 6. Edwards was on hand to guide her team home, however, finishing two short of a half-century as Greenway entered and crashed a boundary to seal the game.
"We played our best cricket of the tour so far today," said Edwards. "All the bowlers bowled well and I am really pleased with how the whole team performed. It was great for Laura [Marsh] and I to get our innings off to a good start and set up the run chase. We are looking forward to carrying this performance forward to the second Twenty20 on Sunday."