We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
In both games, we saw a decent balance between the ball and bat at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. In addition to the five half-centuries, 25 wickets fell on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games.
Probable XI for England: Sophia Dunkley, Danielle Wyatt, Heather Knight (c), Natalie Sciver, Amy Jones (wk), Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Bryony Smith, Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Freya Davies
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Hasini Perera, Chamari Athapaththu (c), Vishmi Gunaratne, Harshitha Madavi, Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Anushka Sanjeewani (wk), Oshadi Ranasinghe, Ama Kanchana, Inoka Ranaweera, Achini Kulasuriya
Chamari Athapaththu doesn’t boast of great numbers against England (56 runs in 7 innings), but her recent form is encouraging. She has scored 181 runs in her last five T20Is, including 80* in the last match against India. She has also taken 31 wickets in the format.
Since July 2021, Danielle Wyatt has scored 326 runs at a staggering average of 40. If she continues her form, England won’t feel the absence of the experienced Tammy Beaumont.
Be it with the ball or bat, Natalie Sciver often rewards fantasy players handsomely. She added 202 runs in the white-ball series against South Africa and also picked 5 wickets. Against Sri Lanka in the format, she is yet to be dismissed.
Sophia Dunkley has been in decent touch lately, scoring freely at the top. In the opening T20I against South Africa, she registered her maiden half-century in the format.
Katherine Brunt and Sophie Ecclestone will be the strike bowlers for England. They took 5 wickets each in the South Africa series. While Brunt averages 18.81, including the best figures of 4 for 15, Ecclestone averages 15.83 with the career-best figures of 4 for 18.
It has been 7 games since Oshadi Ranasinghe went wicketless in T20Is. In fact, she has bagged 13 wickets in the period.
Not too far behind was Inoka Ranaweera, who also tasted decent success against India by bagging 6 wickets in 3 matches. Both Ranaweera and Ranasinghe should enjoy bowling in the seamer-friendly conditions at Birmingham.
Even though Sri Lanka lost the T20I series to India, Nilakshi de Silva showed plenty of promise by finishing as the leading run-getter (123 runs at 61.50) for the hosts.
Both teams have met 8 times in the format, and each time, England have come out on top. Sri Lanka will also be low on confidence after losing the T20I series to India at home. On the other hand, England will have a distinctive home advantage and will be keen on capitalising on it.
Time: 30 July, 11.30 PM IST