Dawson's debut lauded by captain Morgan
Liam Dawson made a dream debut as he helped England to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Sri Lanka in the T20 International at the Ageas Bowl.
The 26-year-old all-rounder took three for 27 in his four overs of left-arm spin as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 140.
A 114-run partnership between Jos Buttler (73 not out) and Eoin Morgan (41 not out) then saw England coast home with 15 balls to spare.
Dawson wasted little time in making an impact – taking a wicket with his fifth ball in international cricket.
And England captain Morgan felt he deserved praise for the composure he showed on his bow.
‘Coming in to make your debut is always a good day for yourself and there are always going to be nerves kicking around,’ said Morgan.
‘Liam came in and played the brand of cricket we play as a side and that was really good.
‘He showed a world of experience and did what he does best.
‘At no stage was he tempted the throw the ball up.
‘He just bowled into the wicket and I thought he did brilliant.’
It was a massive day for Dawson, who was making his England debut on his home ground.
And he made the most of the occasion at the Ageas Bowl.
His debut capped a remarkable twelve months which has seen his fortunes rise.
A year ago he couldn’t even get into the Hampshire twenty20 side.
He was loaned out to Essex but bounced back in the second half of the season.
A highly-successful tour to the UAE in the winter as part of the England Performance Programme led to him being included in the England World T20 squad.
He didn’t get a game as Morgan’s side reached the final in India – but the experience was invaluable.
Dawson was thrown the ball for the seventh over.
Danushka Gunathilaka struck his fourth ball for four but the very next delivery – when trying to repeat the feat – he was caught by Chris Jordan at deep mid-off.
In his next over, Dawson outfoxed Kusal Mendis – who stepped down the wicket only to send a shoulder-high catch straight back to the bowler. The Hampshire man then claimed his biggest scalp – clean bowling Sri Lanka captain Angelo Matthews to cap a fine debut.
Morgan was delighted to complete a clean sweep over the visitors – with wins in the Test series, one-day format and the sole twenty20.
‘Again the desire in the team was there for all to see’ he said.
‘This was emphasised by the way we chased down a relatively small total on a wicket that wasn’t as good as we thought it would be.
‘It was summed up by our aggressive fielding and the accuracy of our throwing, which was outstanding.’
Dawson made his debut alongside his Hampshire team-mate Jame Vince.
Vince struck 16 off 14 balls batting at number three. But while he may feel he missed out with the bat, he showed his class in the field with the run out of Ramith Rambukwella with a direct hit.