England recovered from 36-4 to beat Sri Lanka by five wickets in the second Twenty20 and won the series with one game to go.
After a 40-minute rain break at 69-4, the hosts completed a revised 103 chase with 11 balls left in Cardiff. Liam Livingstone finished 29 not out after Sam Billings – his partner in a fifth wicket score of 54 – fell for 24.
Sri Lanka previously limped to 111-7, with Kusal Mendis making 39 and Mark Wood 2-18 and Adil Rashid 2- 24.
While England were not as ruthless as they were during Wednesday’s eight-wicket hammer, victory was rarely in doubt after they limited Sri Lanka to their lowest total conceded in a T20.
Livingstone – finishing sixth instead of the opening spot he occupies for Lancashire – and Billings had put England in front of Duckworth-Lewis-Stern when it started to rain, and Sam Curran finished a resounding 24 hours with a six every second. to seal victory.
The last game in the three-game series will take place on Saturday in the Ageas Bowl. Impress England with the ball England made two changes on Wednesday, with Jos Buttler resting as a precaution with a calf strain, while David Willey, who played his first T20 international in over two years, replaced Chris Woakes.
Curran got the early break when he drove Danushka Gunathilaka out of the way with some deft footwork before Avishka Fernando picked out a deep, square leg.
Mendis and Kusal Perera took 50 for the third wicket but it cost them nine overs as Sri Lanka became only the 16th team in history to reach no limit in the six over power play.
Rashid had Perera caught in the covers before the impressive Mark Wood sent Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella off in successive balls. Until the final, when Isuru Udana hit a four and a six on Chris Jordan, Mendis was the only Sri Lankan to find the boundary when England did a great job.
Billings & Livingstone help World Cup case After chasing 130 with minimal fuss just 24 hours earlier, England’s pursuit was expected to be a formality but Jonny Bairstow was overthrown by Binura Fernando in the second before Dawid Malan became lbw given away at review.
Malan, the number one ranked T20 batsman in the world, has an average of 48 in the format, but struggled against India in 2021 and now in this series, averaging 26.50.
Captain Eoin Morgan then cut a wide ball right to point, leaving the hosts 31-3 at the end of the power play – their lowest score in six overs since 2015, and the first time they’ve lost three wickets under the spell in a home international since 2013.
Their battle continued as Jason Roy danced around the court and looked long to see them struggle 36-4. Billings and Livingstone, likely to be battling for one place in England’s squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in India in October, showed maturity and composure ahead of the rainy break.
Both maneuvered the ball around for the rain delay, before breaking through the back of the 34 it took from six overs with a limit apiece. Billings was bowled when he tried to cut out Wanindu Hasaranga, before Curran made 16 of eight throws, including hitting a straight six to win the game.
We want guys to support themselves’ – what they said England captain Eoin Morgan on 9breaking Two: “Our bowling was right on point. The wicket played the same way it did yesterday and batters on both sides struggled to get it off.
You want batters to entertain a bit more especially with crowds back but it ended up being a good tight game anyway “We seemed to lose a wicket every time we took a risk which is a shame but it was a good collaboration between Sam Billings and Liam Livingstone.
We want guys to come in and support themselves.” Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur on 9breaking Two: “It’s about learning from every game and getting better and better.
“We talked about taking the handbrake off and we need to be a little more proactive, but our batters are constantly learning, especially in these circumstances.
“I’m excited about the bowling unit and we have a good batting unit in our country, and it It’s about transferring that to other circumstances.”