Teenage duo star as England kick their Commonwealth Games campaign off with win over Sri Lanka


Teenage duo Alice Capsey and Freya Kemp star as England kick their Commonwealth Games campaign off in style with a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Edgbaston

  • 17-year-old Freya Kemp took two wickets as England defeated Sri Lanka
  • Alice Capsey hit 44 runs off 45 balls as England hit 109/5 in memorable victory
  • England will next face South Africa on Tuesday in their second Group B tie
  • Cricket was last featured at the Commonwealth Games in 1998 

Alice Capsey and Freya Kemp weren’t even born the last time cricket was in the Commonwealth Games but the teenage pair starred as England got their campaign under way with an impressive six-wicket win over Sri Lanka at Edgbaston.

Two wickets for 17-year-old Kemp with her left-arm pace, including that of the Sri Lankan captain Chamari Athapaththu, helped restrict Sri Lanka to 106 for nine before Capsey, also 17, hit a superb 44 off 45 balls to secure the win.

Capsey scored a half-century at Lord’s in The Hundred last summer and only made her international debut last week against South Africa but her innings was full of maturity.

England will next face South Africa on Tuesday in their quest for Commonwealth gold

Freya Kemp made her England T20 debut just one week ago against South Africa

Freya Kemp made her England T20 debut just one week ago against South Africa

England still needed 50 runs when captain Nat Sciver, deputising for the injured Heather Knight, was dismissed, but Capsey and Maia Bouchier steadied the ship and saw the hosts home.

Remarkably, Capsey was born in the same month her team-mate Katherine Brunt made her England debut and it was the 37-year-old who got the hosts off to a fine start.

England lost the toss but Brunt, who was awarded a special cap before the game by Isa Guha for her 100th T20I appearance, struck with the first delivery of the match with a skidding delivery that trapped Vishmi Gunaratne plumb.

Brunt revealed earlier in the week that she had considered retiring from all formats at various points over the year before retiring from Test cricket in June.

Alice Capsey hit 44 runs from 45 balls as England emerged victorious at Edgbaston

Alice Capsey hit 44 runs from 45 balls as England emerged victorious at Edgbaston

The 17-year-old Capsey finished third in the MVP rankings for the 2021 The Hundred season

The 17-year-old Capsey finished third in the MVP rankings for the 2021 The Hundred season

But the chance to win a Commonwealth Games medal kept her going and she was the pick of England’s bowlers with her three overs going for only eight runs.

Kemp bowled Athapathtu with her first ball and she struck again when Kavisha Dilhari chipped straight to Capsey.

Hometown favourite Issy Wong had a double-wicket maiden as the Sri Lankan innings unravelled. Their 100 came up at the end of the 19th over before Sophie Ecclestone’s off-spin accounted for two late wickets to finish with figures of three for 25 and leave England with a simple chase.

After the 3-0 series sweep against South Africa, England will be high in confidence in their next group game — against the Proteas on Tuesday.

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