Inspirational captain Chamari Athapaththu led the way yet again as Sri Lanka’s women’s team created history on Wednesday by recording their first-ever series triumph over England in any format.
The historic 2-1 series triumph came courtesy of a dominant seven-wicket victory over Heather Knight’s side in the third T20I in Derby and it was no surprise to see Athapaththu dominate proceedings.
Athapaththu picked up three valuable wickets to help skittle England for just 116 and then contributed an excellent 44 from just 28 deliveries to ensure Sri Lanka chased down the winning target with three overs to spare.
It was no surprise that Athapaththu was adjudged Player of the Match and Player of the Series for her superb all-round performances, with the Sri Lanka captain totalling 114 runs and five wickets over the three matches.
While Athapaththu is sure to win the majority of the plaudits for her fine all-round efforts, she received plenty of support from her teammates during the series decider as Sri Lanka bowled out England cheaply to gain the upper hand.
Inoshi Priyadharshani (1/15) picked up the big wicket of Danni Wyatt from the first ball of the match and Udeshika Prabodhani (2/16) and Kavisha Dilhari (2/16) chipped in with a pair of scalps each as the hosts were dismissed from the final delivery of the penultimate over.
Athapaththu blazed away early in reply to keep the ascendancy going the visitors way, with Harshitha Samarawickrama (26*) offsetting the loss of the Sri Lanka captain in the seventh over to help guide the visitors home with ease.
The two teams will now commence a three-game ODI series, with the first match commencing at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.