Restricting Sri Lanka to a score of just 111-7 when they hit first, England then stumbled to 36-4 in the seventh over of their response before finally clinching a five-wicket victory; Watch the third and final game of the series, live on Sky Sports Cricket starting at 2pm on Saturday
Mark Wood encountered a hat-trick when he returned 2-18 from his four overs
England managed a series win over Sri Lanka, despite suffering a slight scare chasing 112, to win the second T20 international by five wickets on Thursday in Cardiff.
After restricting Sri Lanka to a score of just 111-7 when they hit first, England then stumbled to 36-4 in the seventh over of their response.
Jonny Bairstow, promoted to start for the rested Jos Buttler, received the third ball, Dawid Malan (4) fell cheaply again, while Eoin Morgan (11) and Jason Roy (17) were unable to kick after starting.
Rain interrupted England’s chase at the 12 plus mark, the hosts having rallied to 69-4. When play resumed, England reached their revised goal of 103 (18 overs) with 11 balls to spare, Liam Livingstone leading scorer with 29 unbeaten.
Previously, Sri Lanka again opted to hit first after winning the toss, but showed a surprising lack of intention in their innings as they scored just 26 runs for the loss of two wickets in the six-over power play and their first limit. it took a total 46 deliveries to arrive.
In fact, Sri Lanka managed to find the rope only four times in their full innings, clearing it twice, and those were shared between just two hitters, Kusal Mendis (39) and Tailender Isuru Udana (19th).
England’s first wicket of an enormously disciplined bowling display came via Sam Curran’s boot, as some quick reactions and graceful footwork saw him rush to Danushka Gunathilaka (3) in the second round. Curran then represented Avishka Fernando (6), on the hook, in the next.
Kusal Perera and Mendis rebuilt, slowly, with a 50-run partnership, but just as the latter started to shoot, Chris Jordan pushed Chris Jordan for a great six-long stretch, Perera (19) left and the innings fell apart. since then.
The Sri Lanka captain, a ball after Malan dropped him, a difficult opportunity deep, tried to reverse Adil Rashid’s sweep (2-24) but could only spot Morgan in coverage.
Mark Wood (2-18) was met with a hat-trick at 14 when Mendis dodged an attempt to pull behind Bairstow and then Niroshan Dickwella (3) launched a direct shot into the middle.
Wanindu Hasaranga (3) almost survived the hat-trick delivery, despite a small blast off his stump, but quickly went off in the next over, caught off guard by Bairstow when he attacked Rashid.
Dasun Shanaka (8), a 50 scorer in the first T20I, was unable to repeat his Wednesday night heroics, but Udana at least shone in the final, breaking 14 to see Sri Lanka above the 100 mark.
Sri Lanka showed much more struggle with the ball as left arm Binura Fernando (1-17) cleared Bairstow for the first time in the second over and fast right arm Dushmantha Chameera (1-29) pinned Malan lbw In the next. not out, but it was overruled in review.
Morgan and Roy rallied briefly, before the England captain hit Udana (1-25) directly to the fielder in the back spot and Roy picked Hasaranga (2-20).
Liam Livingstone and Sam Billings (24) made up innings on either side of the rain break, and although Hasaranga pitched the latter in the 15th, Curran (16th) came in and saw England home with a series win, secured with a crush. six in a straight line across the floor.
Watch the third and final T20 International between England and Sri Lanka, live on Sky Sports Cricket starting at 2pm on Saturday.