Eoin Morgan watched Jos Buttler’s swashbuckling innings complete a clean sweep for England over Sri Lanka and then claimed his side’s “aggressive brand of cricket” makes him smile broadly.
The captain defied a dislocated finger himself to hit an important unbeaten 47 as England added a Twenty20 International victory over the tourists to their summer Test and One-Day International series triumphs.
Butter’s superb 73 not out from 49 balls with three fours and four sixes ensured the home side cruised to an eight wicket win with 15 balls remaining at The Ageas Bowl.
They chased down Sri Lanka’s 140 all out from 20 overs without any real problems despite losing Jason Roy for a first over duck. And Morgan heaped praise on Buttler, debutants spinner Liam Dawson (3 for 27) and fast bowler Tymal Mills (0 for 22), and his side’s attacking attitude.
As Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan captain, began to look forward to a similar cricketing battle against Australia next up, Morgan insisted: “When I stood for the toss and realised Jos was opening the batting and we had Tymal opening the bowling, I couldn’t stop smiling because it’s great to have guys like that to attack with bat and ball.
“It’s great to play such an aggressive brand of cricket and our white-ball form in this series has been excellent. Dawson and Mills were outstanding on their debuts.
“The attitude of all the players has been magnificent this summer so far, and this was the perfect way to finish off the campaign with Sri Lanka.
“Jos showed what a world-class performer he is. He was keen to open and show what he can do. Well, it was enjoyable watching from the other end.
“Liam showed no nerves at all and was fantastic. His figures proved just how well he bowled on his debut and on his home ground. Tymal gave us something extra with his pace at the start of an innings, and he bowled very well.
“It’s a great achievement for him to bowl four overs like that, especially with the back problem he has which has to be managed all the time. Whether he can play in the 50-over game, we shall have to see.”
On the damaged finger which he injured taking a catch at the end of the Sri Lanka innings, he said: “I knew it was dislocated straightaway but had it put back in place and had an injection. I was able to bat ok with no problem.”
The defeat completed a miserable tour for Sri Lanka, who failed to beat England in any of the nine international matches with the home side winning the Super Series 20-4.
Mathews admitted: “We have a short rest now to recharge our batteries, and then that series will be just as hard as this one. We have to be prepared very well mentally and physically for that battle ahead.
“Of course it’s been very disappointing but we still have some positives to take from the tour. (Dinesh) Chandimal has been outstanding with bat and behind the stumps while (Kusal) Mendis also did well scoring runs. We played well in patches but we just did not have the bowling to back up the batsmen and compete as well as we wanted.”