England 108 for 5 (Livingstone 29*) beat Sri Lanka 111 for 7 (Mendis 39, Wood 2-18) by five wickets (DLS method)
Sri Lanka's batting was not good. That much is clear, right? In fact, we're being diplomatic. It was awful. England's bowling was decent, and the pitch was not exactly a flatbed, and yet, even despite all that, 111 for 7 was still a pathetic total. One that was always going to be run down, even if Sri Lanka had a good first seven overs with the ball.
Sri Lanka's batsmen repeatedly struggled for timing. Imagine a T20 innings in which only two players hit boundaries. Only Kusal Mendis (who hit a run-a-ball 39) and Isuru Udana (who made 19 not out off 14), found the rope - four fours and two sixes between them.
England stuttered early in their response, slipping to 36 for 4 in the seventh over, but they bat so deep that their victory never really seemed at risk. Liam Livingstone and Sam Billings put on 54 off 48 balls for the fifth wicket, and essentially made the game safe for the hosts.
England's Powerplay dominance
As Sri Lanka had made a poor score in the first T20I, and given their reliance on their top four, the Powerplay was always going to be a good indication of how this game was going to go. Once again, the visitors failed, this time, almost embarrassingly. First, Danushka Gunathilaka was run out attemping a quick single - Sam Curran booting the ball into the stumps like a babier-faced David Beckham to find the batsman short of his ground.
In Curran's next over, Avishka Fernando attempted to hook the bowler but holed out to deep square leg - the fielder having to run in several metres to complete the catch. Kusal Perera and Mendis attempted desperately to hit boundaries after that, trying to make something of the Powerplay overs. But their timing was woeful. And Sri Lanka were 26 for 2 after six overs.
The Mark Wood Express
On a surface offering pace and carry, Mark Wood was quick and menacing. In his first over he was already into the high 140s kph/90mph range, and troubled Mendis, whose outside edge he beat. In later overs, he cranked it up to 150kph/93mph, and in the 14th over of the innings, he dismissed Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella off successive balls - the first off a big top edge that wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow settled under, and the second off a leading edge that went to cover. He finished with figures of 2 for 18 from his four overs.
Billings and Livingstone see England home
Sri Lanka had an excellent first seven overs with the ball too. In fact, at one point in the seventh over, the visitors had England 36 for 4 - Dushmantha Chameera, Binura Fernando, Isuru Udana and Wanindu Hasaranga all having struck once apiece.
But so modest was the required rate that Billings and Livingstone had the luxury of building steadily. They were watchful initially, only hitting out against the truly bad balls. As rain began to fall over Cardiff, they collected safe runs into the outfield to get England ahead of the DLS par score.
The rain caused a long delay, cutting their innings short by two overs, but the target never seemed daunting. They cruised towards it - Livingstone remaining not out on 29 off 26 as Curran hit the winning runs after Billings became a second wicket for Hasaranga.