England’s Nat Sciver dominate Sri Lanka secure series victory

England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt scripted history on her 100th one-day international match against Sri Lanka. In a superlative effort in the third and final ODI in Leicester, Sciver-Brunt slammed the fastest ODI century of 120 off just 74 balls in a 31 overs-per-side rain-affected game. The No.1 ranked batter and all-rounder in the ICC Women’s Player Rankings was in top form as she unleashed some outrageous strokes on her way to a spectacular hundred in her 100th ODI. Persistent rainfall ahead of the fixture delayed the toss at Leicester, but as it relented, the coin fell in favour of the visitors and Sri Lanka put England into bat. Making good use of the overcast conditions and the strong nip off the pitch, the visitors reduced England to 18/2 inside the first five overs.
However, Sciver-Brunt then joined hands with Maia Bouchier and the duo raced off the blocks, taking the team to 72/2 in 10 overs despite the initial setback. With the platform well set and a shortened innings on the cards, Sciver-Brunt and Bouchier pressed the accelerator further. Bouchier beat Sciver-Brunt to her half-century, taking just 38 balls for it. Sciver-Brunt followed suit with a hat-trick of fours in the 15th over.
The 193-run stand came off just 20 overs and was only broken when Bouchier was trapped in front by Kavisha Dilhari. By then, Sciver-Brunt had completed her century off 66 balls, making it the quickest ODI ton by an England women’s player. The wicket didn’t deter the England all-rounder, though, as she smashed three fours in a row of the same over. She was, however, dismissed next over for a brilliant 120. But she had inflicted enough damage on the visitors by then and taken England to a huge total to 273/8 in 31 overs. Kavisha Dilhari (3/42) was the pick of the bowlers for SL. Udeshika Prabodhani, Achini Kulasuriya and Inoka Ranaweera took a wicket each. In the chase of 274, SL was never a threat. Hasini Perera (32 in 24 balls) was the only batter to cross the 20-run mark. Her partnership of 35-run with Hansima Karunaratne (15) was the highest point of the innings. Charlie Dean (5/31) was dominant and she partnered with Lauren Filer (3/30) to bundle out SL for 112 in 24.5 overs, taking Englamd to 161 runs victory. England has won the ODI series 2-0. Sciver-Brunt got the ‘Player of the Match’ award.

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