England v Sri Lanka: Dawid Malan hits 76 as hosts complete 3-0 series win 

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BBC Sport – Dawid Malan hit 76 from 48 balls as England thrashed Sri Lanka by 89 runs in Southampton to complete a 3-0 clean sweep in the Twenty20 series.

Malan shared an opening stand of 105 with Jonny Bairstow, who made 51, in England’s 180-6.

Although England lost 5-19 late on, the target proved beyond a Sri Lanka side who were outplayed in all three games.

They were bowled out for 91 with seven balls unused as David Willey took 3-27 and Sam Curran 2-14.

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Willey had Danushka Gunathilaka caught at second slip with the second ball of the innings and Sri Lanka subsided in embarrassing fashion after a chaotic start.

Chris Woakes, recalled for this series after a six-year absence, claimed 1-9 – the most economical four-over spell by an England bowler in T20s – while Sam Billings underlined a ruthless all-round display for the hosts with a brilliant direct hit run-out from deep mid-wicket.

It was England’s fourth biggest win in terms of runs in T20s, while Sri Lanka’s total was their fourth lowest.

The sides meet at Emirates Riverside on Tuesday in the first of three one-day internationals, and the evidence of the past four days suggests Sri Lanka face a mighty task against the world champions.

MALAN BACK TO HIS BEST 

This was a timely return to form for 33-year-old Malan – the top ranked T20 batsman in the world – with the T20 World Cup looming in October.

The left-hander’s credentials came under scrutiny after he made seven and four in the first two matches of this series, having passed 25 once in five matches in India earlier this year.

Promoted to open because of a hamstring injury to Jason Roy, Malan struggled for the strike early on before racing to 50 from 30 balls.

He hit four leg-side sixes and also scored around the wicket with sweeps, reverse-sweeps and lofted extra-cover drives.

Malan and Bairstow’s century opening stand – brought up in only 11.1 overs – was England’s first in T20s since 2013.

Malan eventually drove to long-off – the fourth man to fall in England’s late-innings collapse – but he has surely done enough to silence any questions over his place.

ENGLAND OUTCLASS SRI LANKA AGAIN 

England’s collapse was sparked by seamer Dushmantha Chameera, who bowled excellently at the death to remove Malan, Billings, Eoin Morgan and Moeen Ali with a mix of slower balls and yorkers.

It seemed to give Sri Lanka an outside chance but, as they have in each game of this three-match series, they performed miserably with the bat.

Having plodded to 111-8 batting first in the second T20, they began their chase in wild fashion.

Number three Oshada Fernando swiped at almost every ball, missing most, until he top-edged to point to fall for 19 off 27 deliveries.

Wickets tumbled to England’s seamers amid a flurry of poor shots – spinner Adil Rashid was not introduced until the 17th over – and only a counter-attacking 20 from number nine Binura Fernando prevented Sri Lanka surpassing 82, their lowest T20 total.

England, who were only tested when collapsing to 36-4 in an ultimately comfortable win in the second game, will have learned little from such a one-sided series against a side whose performance matched their ranking of nine in the world.

Player of the match Dawid Malan: “The criticism does bother me sometimes but it drives me as well. I like to prove a point, so when I do get criticised I like going out there and proving wrong those with their opinions.

“I scored 60 in the last game in India so I don’t know where the lean patch is coming from.

“The thing this white-ball team has been good at is they don’t listen to noise. Eoin and (coach) Chris Silverwood are fantastic at whenever there is some criticism backing you as a player.”

England captain Eoin Morgan: “The biggest and most impressive thing throughout the series were our bowling performances. The bowlers have adapted to conditions well and it was an outstanding effort from the seamers today to bowl 16 overs straight.”

England bowler James Anderson on BBC Test Match Special: “That was ruthless and clinical. England were brilliant in all departments.

“Sri Lanka were lacklustre and they’ve got a lot of work to do, but this England team will be winning a lot of games in the coming months, so they don’t need to be too disheartened.”

Sri Lanka captain Kusal Perera: “We knew it was going to be a tough series coming into it, but our batting wasn’t up to the mark – that was our main issue. We couldn’t get used to the pace and the bounce of the pitches and conditions.”



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