Athapaththu’s 55 from 40 balls led a withering batting show from Sri Lanka’s top-order, as England’s sub-par complete of 104 was hunted down with 6.4 overs to spare. Her 21-run assault on Kate Cross’s second over included an enormous six over sq. leg and right into a neighbouring backyard, as Sri Lanka broke the again of the chase with 67 runs within the six-over powerplay.
“Chamari has been enjoying some scintillating cricket for an extended time frame,” Warnapura, the previous Sri Lanka Check batter, mentioned. “It is beautiful to observe. It does not present any distinction from watching a males’s recreation when Chamari is batting, the best way she hits the ball so arduous and does not fear about gaps.”
Athapaththu’s affect on Sri Lanka’s victory prolonged to her position with the ball too – after her staff had conceded a hefty 186 for 4 in 17 overs at Hove, she took it upon herself to set the tone together with her offspin, and duly bowled England’s most harmful participant, Danni Wyatt, for 1 with the sixth supply of the match.
“She’s been working actually arduous with the bat, however more often than not that when she was bowling, it was solely over or two,” Warnapura added. “However now she has confirmed that she’s top-of-the-line allrounders that we’ve on the earth.”
Athapaththu’s aggression introduced out the perfect in her team-mates too. Sri Lanka rejigged their batting line-up after their 12-run DLS defeat in Hove, with the wicketkeeper Anushka Sanjeewani transferring up the order to open, thereby permitting Vishmi Gunaratne to fit in at No. 4 behind Harshitha Samarawickrama at three, who did not get to bat in Thursday’s rain-shortened chase.
Although Sanjeewani’s personal affect proved to be restricted, Samarawickrama proved the proper foil for Athapaththu, as she sealed Sri Lanka’s chase with an unbeaten 30 from 35 balls, together with a 3rd six of the innings, over deep midwicket.
“We needed to attempt one thing new and the ladies took it in a really good way,” Warnapura mentioned. “The best way Harshitha completed the sport did not present any distinction to the best way she bats as an opener. We now have six or seven betters who can do the job however, when Chamari [is leading the way], I believe for the remainder, it is a lot simpler for them to play a supporting position.
“We wished to make the batting order as much as No. 7 somewhat bit stronger and since the wicketkeeper has been enjoying for a very long time, it was a chance for her as effectively. Hopefully she is going to come again robust within the subsequent recreation.”
Warnapura has solely been in his position for just a few months, however in that point, Sri Lanka have additionally overwhelmed New Zealand – one other conventional powerhouse of the ladies’s recreation – for the primary time in T20Is. Earlier this 12 months, additionally they beat South Africa within the World Cup opener in Cape City, and he admitted it was an thrilling time to be concerned with the staff.
“As a coach, it is thrilling to observe the best way they play, and never solely on the sector… in every single place, even at coaching, even on the lodge and once you’re travelling,” he mentioned. “That reveals the qualities of self-discipline, and likewise that teamwork issues. The ladies had this starvation to win. I believe it is a good begin for them.”
Warnapura performed down the suggestion, nonetheless, that England had proven Sri Lanka a level of disrespect with their youthful choice for this sequence.
“You may’t management that concerning the England facet,” he mentioned. “They will decide and so they can relaxation, however after we got here right here, we knew that they’re one of many strongest groups on the earth. So we ready ourselves effectively, again dwelling, in coaching and within the warm-up video games, and once you have a look at that fieldling and bowling, it is actually good to see.”
Looking forward to the sequence decider in Derby on Wednesday, Warnapura acknowledged that the sunny climate in Chelmsford had been like “dwelling circumstances” in comparison with a moist 7pm begin in Hove, however mentioned that he anticipated England to combat again arduous, regardless of the climate.
“It is a terrific confidence, however once you play towards England, you possibly can’t simply say that you simply gained immediately and you are going to win tomorrow,” he mentioned. “It is going to be arduous, however the best way we’re performing, we’re enjoying as a unit and as a staff, and that is one thing that we’re trying ahead for.”
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket