The City forward was outstanding from start to finish as Gareth Southgate’s men romped home 4-0 against Bulgaria.
After causing numerous early problems with his movement and dribbling, it was Sterling who set up England skipper Harry Kane on 24 minutes to put the Three Lions on their way.
Kane then doubled the lead just after the break, making no mistake from the penalty spot after Marcus Rashford had been tripped.
Then, on 55 minutes, Sterling got the goal his performance deserved as he bundled the ball home after excellent work by Kane.
It was Sterling’s fifth goal of the qualification phase and his seventh in seven games for his country.
The City star was replaced on 71 minutes by former Blues’ winger Jadon Sancho and skipper Kane completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot two minutes later.
England remain top of Group A.
Oleksandr Zinchenko was on target for Ukraine as they beat Lithuania 3-0 away.
Ukraine remain top of Group B as a result.
Bernardo Silva is in action against Serbia later this evening.
Elsewhere, Phil Foden assisted two goals as England Under-21s came from behind to beat Turkey 3-2 on Friday.
Kevin De Bruyne played 76 minutes of Belgium’s 4-0 win over San Marino to maintain their 100% record after five games in Group I.
Ilkay Gundogan came on after 61 minutes as Germany went down 4-2 at home to Holland.
Ederson had a rare outing for Brazil who drew 2-2 with Colombia in a friendly and Nicolas Otamendi played the full 90 minutes as Argentina and Chile drew 0-0.
Aro Muric won another cap for Kosovo who again impressed with a 2-1 win over Czech Republic.