A smooth unbeaten third-wicket partnership of 114 between Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan led England to a brilliant eight-wicket victory against Sri Lanka in a one-off Twenty20 international on Wednesday.
Buttler smashed an unbeaten 73 and skipper Morgan remained 47 not out as the hosts chased down their target of 141 with more than two overs remaining.
England, who won the Test series between the teams 2-0 and came out victorious in a rain-disrupted ODI series 3-0, continued their ruthless dominance over the Sri Lankans with a blistering performance.
Sri Lanka never seemed would be able to post an imposing total after winning the toss, opener Dhanushka Gunathilaka top-scoring with 26 as England took wickets at regular intervals.
Left-arm spinner Liam Dawson completed excellent figures of three for 27 on his debut and the hosts looked sharp in the field, good work by Jason Roy and James Vince leading to run-outs.
As Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews now focus on a similar cricketing battle against Australia next up, his counterpart Morgan insisted: “When I stood for the toss and realised Jos was opening the batting and we had Tymal opening the bowling I couldn’t stop smiling because it’s great to have guys like that to attack with bat and ball.
England lost Roy in the first over and Vince fell for 16, but Buttler, who was promoted to open the innings, struck four sixes and three fours to keep his team in control and Morgan clinched the win with a big six over mid-wicket off Ramith Rambukwella.
“It’s great to play such an aggressive brand of cricket and our white-ball form in this series has been excellent. Dawson and Mills were outstanding on their debuts.
”The attitude of all the players has been magnificent this summer so far, and this was the perfect way to finish off the campaign with Sri Lanka. Jos showed what a world class performer he is. He was keen to open and show what he can do. Well, it was enjoyable watching from the other end,” he further said.
“Liam showed no nerves at all and was fantastic. His figures proved just how well he bowled on his debut and on his home ground. Tymal gave us something extra with his pace at the start of an innings, and he bowled very well.
”It’s a great achievement for him to bowl four overs like that especially with the back problem he has which has to be managed all the time. Whether he can play in the 50-over game we shall have to see.”
Speaking about his injured finger while taking a catch at the end of the Sri Lanka innings, he said: “I knew it was dislocated straight away but had it put back in place and had an injection. I was able to bat ok with no problem.”