About the Match
Sri Lanka won the first match of the home series against England by 25 runs to take a 1-0 lead and will now march ahead to face the visitors with more confidence when they come face to face for the 2nd ODI match at Colombo on 29th Nov. England came close to chasing the target successfully but the middle order couldn't live up to its expectations; they will need to pull up their socks and come back stronger if they want to do well from here on. The hosts, who have had a good run this year, will be eager to continue with their winning momentum and will definitely come out all guns blazing on Sunday to maintain the lead.
While Dilshan and Kusal Perera provided an impetus to the top order batting performance by posting a solid 12-run opening stand between them, Jayawardene and Mathews ensured to keep the scoreboard ticking to take the total above 300 runs. Mendis and Thirimanne contributed well from the lower order while the bowlers led by Thisara Perera, Herath and Mendis demolished the English batting line-up just in time to emerge victorious. Players like Jeevan Mendis, Dilshan and Mathews are key assets due to their all-rounder abilities; Sangakkara, who has loads of experience behind him, must along with Jayawardene provide the stability to the side so as to guide youngsters for tough challenges. Although, in the first match they were able to overcome the good efforts of English batsmen Moeen Ali and Bopara to defend their score, the team needs to be better prepared for the upcoming matches and see this as an opportunity to consolidate their squad for the world cup. Overall, they have the required talent and expertise in all departments of the game; they clearly go in as favourites here unless the visitors succeed in their attempts to outwit the deadly combination of spin and pace that is surely an advantage for the home side.
Moeen posted the third fastest ODI century in England’s history by scoring 119 off 87 balls to start the chase for 318 runs in a steady way; however, his colleagues weren’t as determined and collapsed against the Lankan pace and spin attack. They have to work as a team and bring out their best at crunch situations if they want to be any competition for the other teams during the World Cup series that’s round the corner. Players like Ravi Bopara, who continue to excel with their skills, need to be motivated further so as to help them do better; Joe Root and Eoin Morgan, who are also known for their hard-hitting skills must shoulder their responsibilities more seriously going ahead while the captain, Alistair Cook must learn to lead from the front. Though Steven Finn’s absence is a disadvantage for the bowling squad, Bopara and Moeen can bring in variety to the attack and along with some good performance by James Tredwell, who claimed 2 wickets and Chris Woakes, who also dismissed two opponents, the bowling unit can make the best use of the resources at hand. The players need to stay focused and try to convert the opportunities into sure-shot success on the field.
While England will try to recover from the narrow 25-run loss to the hosts and come back stronger on Sunday, Sri Lanka with its combined efforts from batsmen and bowlers, looks well placed to win the match and increase its lead in the series.
Sri Lanka, 1.57 @ Bet365