England slumped against Sri Lanka’s spinners for the second game running as the tourists clinched a historic first T20 series win over their opponents.
Heather Knight’s hosts lost by seven wickets in Derby on Wednesday night, rolled for just 116 having been skittled for 104 in Saturday’s second T20 at Chelmsford.
England lost eight wickets to spin for the second time in five days, with Sri Lanka captain Chamari Athapaththu (3-21) the pick of the attack.
Athapathu then backed up her 55 from 31 balls during the eight-wicket win in Essex at the weekend – which was Sri Lanka’s maiden T20I triumph over England – with 44 from 28 balls to set up a chase the visitors completed with three overs to spare.
England had been reduced to 11-2 in two overs after being inserted – Danni Wyatt (0) clothing the first ball of the innings to cover and Alice Capsey (9) then run out after a mix-up by batting partner Maia Bouchier (23 off 18).
Bouchier went on to top-score, with Amy Jones (20 off 17) and Danielle Gibson (21 off 15) the only other players to pass 20 as England were guilty of soft dismissals and Sri Lanka excelled with the ball and in the field.
Athapaththu had Jones stumped in the 11th over and then polished off the innings by dismissing Kate Cross (1) and Mahika Gaur (0) from successive balls at the end of the 19th – Gaur bagging a golden duck in her first England innings having made her debut in the series opener at Hove last week.
Athapaththu muscled Cross for six over backward square in the second over of the chase before whipping teenage seamer Gaur over the rope an over later as she bossed an opening stand of 65 from 40 balls with Anushka Sanjeewani (20 off 16).
England had a glimmer of hope when Athapaththu and Sanjeewani were caught off spinners Capsey and Sarah Glenn but Harshitha Samarawickrama (26no) guided her side to victory – and history.
England will now look to bounce back in the three-match ODI series, which begins at Chester-le-Street on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am (11am first ball).
England ODI squad
Heather Knight (captain), Tammy Beaumont, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Kate Cross, Charlie Dean, Lauren Filer, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath, Amy Jones, Emma Lamb, Nat Sciver-Brunt
The final two games of the ODI series are at Northampton on Tuesday (12.30pm start) and then Leicester on Thursday (12.30pm start), with all three matches live on Sky Sports Cricket.
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