England 206 for 3 (Knight 82, Taylor 74*) beat Sri Lanka 204 for 8 (Marsh 4-45) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
England continued to make confident strides after their defeat in the opening match of the tournament, as classy half-centuries from Heather Knight and Sarah Taylor saw them to a comfortable seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Taunton. Laura Marsh claimed a four-wicket haul as Sri Lanka were limited to 204 for 8, before England cruised to their target with almost 20 overs to spare.
With Tammy Beaumont and Lauren Winfield reunited at the top of the order, after the latter's wrist injury, England got off to a quick start. Winfield looked in particularly good touch, striking five boundaries, but Ama Kanchana dismissed both to leave England 50 for 2 in the eighth over.
That brought Knight in to join Taylor, batting at her favoured No. 3 berth after deputising as opener in Winfield's absence. Both picked up boundaries early on before settling down to tick over in singles and twos on their way to bringing up the century stand. The floodgates then opened, Knight hitting the only six of the day as a flurry of boundaries carried England to victory. Knight was caught at midwicket off Chamari Atapattu's offspin for 82 off 76 but Taylor was there to hit the winning runs, finishing on 74 off 67 in her most impressive and significant innings since returning to the side.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, Sri Lanka were forced to toil from their runs from the outset, with England's senior seamers, Katherine Brunt and Anya Shrubsole, serving up three maidens in a row. Hasini Perera eventually broke the stranglehold with a brace of chancy boundaries off Shrubsole to open their team's account after 21 consecutive dot-balls.
Though neither of Sri Lanka's openers ever threatened to cut loose in an opening stand of 44, England's catching was less than stellar with Perera surviving a regulation chance at mid-off on 10 as Danielle Hazell misjudged a chipped drive. Nipuni Hansika got off the mark in the seventh over with a rasping through midwicket off Brunt, but she soon became the first wicket to fall, caught off a leading edge at point at point as she attempted to waft Nat Sciver over the leg side.
That brought Atapattu to the crease, fresh from her astonishing unbeaten 178 against Australia in the opening match. Anticipation was high as she took guard, but this time she lasted just three balls before Sciver doubled her tally thanks to an excellent instinctive take from Taylor behind the stumps, who snaffled a big deflection as Atapattu swished with flat feet through the off side.
Perera continued to guide Sri Lanka's fortunes as England took the pace off the ball with the introduction of Hazell's offspin, but it was her fellow offie, Marsh, who made the big inroads in the middle order. Back in the side at the expense of Alex Hartley after missing the opening two games, Marsh found some appreciable turn to have Perera caught behind for 46. She took some tap in her next two overs as Dilani Manodara and Shashikala Siriwardene counterattacked gamely, but the aggressive approach proved Siriwardene's downfall as she missed a heave across the line to be bowled for 33.
Harshitha Madavi became Marsh's third victim - and Taylor's too - as she was deceived both in flight and off the pitch to edge a thin nick to the keeper for 1, before Fran Wilson at point produced the moment of the innings, a stunning leap to her right at point to cling onto a full-blooded cut from Manodara off Knight, and leave Sri Lanka wobbling at 130 for 6 in the 39th over.
In the end, they eked out another 74 runs with a combination of watchful defence and, in the case of Kanchana, the shot of the day, an AB-de-Villiers-esque inside-out pull for six over fine leg in Shrubsole's final over. Kanchana had, however, already been reprieved twice in Shrubsole's previous over, including one grievous misjudgement from Beaumont at short fine leg, who failed even to lay a hand on a top-edged slog.