About the Match
With the last match being washed away by rain, England and Sri Lanka will now try to gain a foothold in the remaining two games; the 4th ODI will be held on 29th June at The Oval and England with a 1-0 lead are looking energized to take the title. For the visitors, this is a do-or-die contest and they will leave no stone unturned to make a comeback; both teams have experienced players and young talent that will be raring to go and bring glory to their respective sides. The upcoming match will surely keep the fans at the edge of their seats if weather doesn’t play spoilsport on Wednesday.
Speedsters Plunkett and Woakes are in very good form with the ball and their all-round talents have also come to the fore, helping the team draw the first match against Sri Lanka and taking them to a massive 10-wicket victory in the second match. The duo took 3 wickets apiece in the third match to restrict Sri Lanka 248 runs; but rain played havoc and the match had to be abandoned in the end.
David Willey and Chris Jordan bring depth and variety to the attack and along with spinners Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali and Joe Root, who have the skills to stifle the opposition and provide quick breakthroughs, England can surely outwit the weakened Lankan batting unit.
While the bowlers have been doing a fine job of taking consistent wickets with pace and spin alike, the batting line-up has surely put its best foot forward in scoring the big runs. Openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales made mincemeat of the Lankan bowlers as they each posted brilliant centuries to chase down 255 runs in 34 overs in the second match; Eoin Morgan, Buttler, Bairstow, Ali and Root are vital assets in the batting line-up and they will be eager to come out all guns blazing here.
Dinesh Chandimal continues to stabilize the innings from the middle-order and along with in-form players like Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Perera and Mathews himself, the Lankan batting outfit does look promising. Down the order, all-rounders like Seekkuge Prasanna, Dasun Shanaka and Maharoof can keep the scoreboard ticking but the Lankan top-order must take more responsibility to build the innings from the word go.
In the first ODI, the bowlers put up a tremendous show despite huge pressure to defend 286; pacemen Lakmal, Pradeep and Mathews took 2 wickets each to stifle the hosts while spinner Prasanna and Maharoof claimed a wicket each to help draw the match by a whisker. However, in the 2nd match, they couldn’t impress with the ball and failed to take a single wicket leading to a colossal loss by 10 wickets.
Lakmal leads the pace attack and along with Nuwan Pradeep and Maharoof must focus on getting quick wickets; Prasanna surely can pull of surprises and he has company in spin from Suraj Randiv. They must do well in all departments of the game to keep the series alive with a much-needed win.
While England is buoyant with their recent historic win and have the psychological advantage, Sri Lanka won’t give up without a fight; the contest could swing either way but we feel the hosts will emerge victorious on Wednesday