England Women 206 for 9 (Newton 60, Gunn 49, de Alwis with 3-38) beat Sri Lanka Women 107 (Birch 4-22) by 99 runs
England's women cruised to their second convincing win over Sri Lanka women to complete a 2-0 series win in Colombo. The batting again worked hard to reach 206 - led by Laura Newton's half-century - before Sri Lanka were rolled over for 107 as England's bowlers produced another impressive performance.
Sri Lanka won the toss but asked England to bat first and Newton followed up here 59 in the first ODI with 60. It was tough going for the batsmen with a slow outfield and even slower bowlers making it hard to get pace on the ball. Newton, speaking to Cricinfo after the match, gave an insight into the conditions.
"The Sri Lankans don't have the best attack in the world but it has been hard work in the middle. In women's cricket, the slower you bowl the harder it becomes because you have to put the pace on the ball. Their attack consisted of four spinners and two others who were really just a slowish medium-pace so there was plenty of running. We ran 102 singles in our total so it is certainly a tough task in these conditions. The outfield is also quite thick which adds to it."
Newton was supported by Jenny Gunn, who put her opening match duck behind her to reach 49. During the two matches a number of the women have made starts to their innings without converting into a more substantial score. But, Newton explains there are mitigating circumstances. "Your bat starts to get very heavy after about an hour because it is so warm and humid. Normally you shouldn't feel it until you have been out there for about three hours but these conditions get to you. That's why a number of girls have found it difficult later in their innings."
England's attack then came up against very little resistance from the Sri Lankans, although the home side did manage to improve on their 61 from the first match. Rosalie Birch notched another four wickets, after he 4 for 14 on Friday, while Isa Guha and Jo Watts grabbed a brace each.
Despite the one-sidedness of the matches the England coach, Richard Bates, says the time in Sri Lanka has been valuable ahead of the sterner tests in India. "The aim from these matches was to get as many of the girls batting and bowling as possible. A couple more managed decent innings today and again the bowling was very professional. It would have been very difficult to go straight to India without this period of acclimatisation so the matches have certainly been beneficial."
Thoughts now turn to India, who will provide a truer examination of this team's credentials. Bates is aware of the task ahead: "I said that when we played against Australia during the summer, and won the Ashes, that that was a huge challenge. But I feel to overcome India in the subcontinent could be even tougher."