Sri Lanka seal it with a six
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There's a very fine line between bad bowling and good batting. After digging themselves out of the hole from 29/3 and 114/5 to make 238/8, England would have fancied their chances of running through the Sri Lankan batting line-up. However, thanks to some mediocre bowling coupled by atrocious fielding - and some fine, counter-attacking batting by Sri Lanka - England were left chasing the game for most part.
Chamari Atapattu and Yasoda Mendis put on 103 for the first wicket to give Sri Lanka a solid start. England, however, refused to let go. Poor shot selection by Sri Lankan batswoman and intelligent bowling by England meant they fought their way back as Lanka lost four wickets for 15 runs near the 40 over mark.
When Kaushalya came to the crease, at number 6, Sri Lanka needed 86 from 85 balls. She took a while to settle but once she played herself in, Kaushalya backed herself to play the big shots when the opportunity presented itself. Stung by her aggression, England panicked. Short deliveries and full tosses were supplied generously and fielders began dropping sitters. Kaushalya made them pay, slamming five fours and three sixes in her 41-ball 56, all but sealing the deal before being run out with one run still needed from three balls.
Earlier, a late flourish by Jennifer Gunn and some efficient knocks by the lower middle-order, saw England put up a fighting score. Gunn's 52 off 71 deliveries was the cornerstone of England's lacklustre batting effort after Sri Lanka had put them in on a hazy morning. The defending champions will now face hosts India on Sunday, while Sri Lanka face West Indies on the same day.
Brief scores: England 238/8 in 50 overs (Heather Knight 38, Jenny Gunn 52; Chamani Seneviratna 2/35, Eshani Kaushalya 2/49) lost to Sri Lanka 244/9 in 50 overs (Chamari Jayagani 62, L Kaushalya 56; Katherine Brunt 2/36, Arran Brindle 2/38).
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