Player of the match Alice Capsey was not surprised by the impact of England debutant Mahika Gaur after the teenage pair helped secure victory in a rain-affected T20 opener against Sri Lanka at Hove.
The hosts clinched a 1-0 lead in the three-match series thanks to a 12-run success on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.
Capsey, 19, hit a blistering half-century to help England post 186 for four in a innings reduced to 17 overs due to a delayed start.
💪 Brutal batting✨ A debut to remember😣 Rain in the way
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) August 31, 2023
Sri Lanka had reached 23-0 from 3.1 overs in reply when play was halted for almost 45 minutes by a further downpour, before being set a revised target of 68 from six overs – 45 more from 17 balls.
Fast bowler Gaur then marked her maiden cap by claiming the wicket of opposition skipper Chamari Athapaththu, who was caught by Amy Jones, to help England over the line.
“We’ve all got along with her really well,” Capsey said of 17-year-old Gaur.
“She’s fitted in perfectly, she’s just a really good human. She’s just someone who doesn’t take too much fuss.
“She gets on with it, she works really hard and I’m not surprised how well she went out there and bowled today.
“It was probably a different role to what she was expecting, having to go to her death overs pretty quickly, but she took that role on really well and it shows her character.”
Capsey smashed 51 off just 27 balls, including five fours and three sixes, to equal her highest T20I score.
England had raced out of the blocks and were 50 without loss at the end of four overs after the start of the match was pushed back by an hour because of wet weather.
Danni Wyatt contributed 48, while fellow opener Maia Bouchier made 22, captain Heather Knight chipped in with 23 and Freya Kemp added 20.
Capsey admits England’s players were becoming “a bit itchy” as the prospect of a washout became a genuine threat.
“I don’t think I was thinking too much about my 50, I was thinking more about getting the win,” she said.
“We did the first half of the job really well. I thought Danni Wyatt at the top of the order did brilliantly and then cameos from Heather and Freya, who just kept the momentum going and really finished the game off well for us.
“We knew it was only half the job done. It was a bit frustrating coming off after 3.1 overs and we knew there was a cut off time so I think everyone was getting a bit itchy to get back out there.
“It was nice we were able to. We were put under pressure, which is what we wanted, and it was really nice to see how the team came back from that – it was a really good performance for us.”
The sides will meet again on Saturday afternoon at Chelmsford ahead of a finishing the series on Wednesday at Derby.