England vs Sri Lanka: Joss Butler leads hosts to win eight wickets in first T20

Jos Buttler achieved nine half-century in 20 rounds as a T20 opener for England
Sri Lanka 129-7 (20 degrees): Shenkah 50, Rashid 2-17, Coran 2-25
England 130-2 (17.1 over): Butler 68, Roy 36, Shamira 1-24
England won by eight wickets

Unbeaten Jose Butler 68 helped England take a comfortable eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the first 20 seconds in Cardiff.

In the 130 chase, Butler and Jason Roy shared an 86-round opening podium before Roy fell for 36 points to Danushka Junathilaka.

However, Butler anchored England where he won 17 balls.

Sri Lanka struggled earlier to 129-7, with Dason Chanaka 50, Adil Rashid 2-17 and Sam Curran 2-35.

The second match of the three-match series will be played at the same stadium in Sofia Gardens on Thursday.

Captain Eoin Morgan said before the match that the series would give players a chance to press for selection for the T20 World Cup, which begins in October.

While Chris Woks, playing his first T20 international since 2015, was playing neatly, it was Rashid who stood out from the hosts.

He didn’t compromise on his quartet’s spell and his differences forced Kusal Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga out for Chris Jordan in a long run.

Despite choosing the paddle first, Sri Lanka hasn’t moved on a slow surface. They went 35 balls without limits after Danushka lost Jonathilaka in fifth and struggled to put any pressure on England’s players in the running.

It was only Shanaka’s acceleration, going from 26 off 33 balls to 43 half century balls, that gave them a decent overall.

In response, Butler moved into his ninth half-century in 20 rounds as an opener, in a performance that England captain Ewen Morgan called a “key lesson”.

Playing cautiously early on, Butler unleashed, scoring eight goals and one six, including back-to-back borders off Isuru Udana.

Roy struggled for rhythm and his innings were ended with a fine catch by Gunathilaka, jumping full length to his left halfway.

Dawid Malan also found the pitch difficult to read, toiling for seven of his 13 balls before Udana threw them, but Butler saw England at home with ease.

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