About the Match
England sealed victory in the ODI series against Sri Lanka by winning the 4th ODI by 6 wickets; with a 2-0 standing, England will try to hand a complete washout to the Lankans when they meet for the 5th ODI at Cardiff on 2nd July. Although a dead rubber, the visitors will try to redeem themselves with a win here while the hosts are looking strong to remain invincible with their all-round performance. The resurgence of the English ODI team is an inspiration to the younger cricketers in the country and the fans will be there in full numbers to support them; on the other hand, Sri Lanka which came so close to winning the opening match, will leave no stone unturned to do so now on Saturday.
England registered their second-highest chase in the ODI format by securing the required 308 runs in a reduced match of 42 overs against Sri Lanka; Jason Roy yet again proved his mettle as he soared to 162 off 118 to steer his team to victory with almost 2 overs to spare. Joe Root played a useful knock as he scored a well-made 65 off 54 while Morgan and Bairstow helped keep the scoreboard ticking. Earlier, the bowlers found moderate success in taking wickets as David Willey and Rashid picked up 2 scalps each but they couldn’t stop the Lankans from crossing the 300 margin.
In the second match too, Roy and Alex Hales partnered together to create history for the team as they posted a remarkable 256-run opening stand and helped win by 10 wickets. The bowlers put up a tremendous show as speedster continued on his wicket-taking spells and claimed 2-49 while Rashid and Willey took 3 wickets between them to stifle the Lankans to 254 runs.
They are a determined side with a very deep batting line-up consisting of in-form players like Roy, Hales, Morgan, Buttler, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow and all-rounders Woakes and Plunkett, who can stabilize the innings whether during chase or setting a target. The bowling department has also been excelling with pace and spin and together they are a formidable team to reckon with.
The Lankan batsmen came through as they set up a solid foundation batting first; while Mendis top-scored with 77 off 64, Mathews remained unbeaten at 67 and Chandimal and Gunathilaka added 60+ runs each. All-rounder Shanaka partnered with his captain to take the total to 305 in 42 overs; despite a good show by Lakmal, Pradeep and Gunathilaka, they couldn’t contain the hosts.
Upul Tharanga was the top-scorer in the 2nd match with a superb 53 off 49 remaining unbeaten till the end; however, the 255-run target wasn’t enough to win the match by the bowlers, who remained wicket-less through the game. They have a good batting line-up but they aren’t consistent with the run-flow; they will need to come out all guns blazing in order to challenge the hosts here.
While Lakmal, Pradeep, Shanaka and Maharoof provide their pace skills, Prasanna and Randiv can outwit the English with their spin tactics; however, they must focus on getting quick breakthroughs.
England has already won the series 2-0 but they will not take the Lankans lightly. The visitors on the other hand are eager for redemption and will definitely fight harder but we feel that the rejuvenated English look better placed to win the last ODI match too on Saturday