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|Dhananjaya de Silva||0||7||0||0||0.00|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||9.0||1||24||0||2.67|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||73||129||8||0||56.59|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||5.0||0||16||0||3.20|
England have turned the trends by becoming the first team to win an away series in recent times. They did so by beating Islanders in the 2nd test of the series which was a week ago. Sri Lanka, although, are currently in the rebuilding phase, it was surprising to see them go down so easily in the first two matches. The two teams will now take on each other in the third and final test which is to be played at Sinhalese Sports Club, Colombo from 23d November. England are likely to rest a couple of players and with injury issues looming around, it will be interesting to see how they perform in the next match.
Sri Lanka showed a massive improvement in their performance in the second test as compared to the first. They obtained a crucial first-innings lead and almost chased down a good total batting fourth. However, as was predicted earlier about the surface, batting last was extremely difficult and the likes of Ali, Rashid, and Leach made it even more so.
Dimuth Karunaratne's return to form will boost Sri Lanka's morale as he scored important fifties in both the innings. He's been a prolific scorer for Sri Lanka in recent times and will play a crucial role once again. Other than him, Dhananjaya de Sila, Roshan Silva, and Angelo Mathews contributed with the bat, but with pitch turning square and some irresponsible shots rendered them 57-runs short of the Englishmen.
With Chandimal absent from the third test as well, the quartet will hold the key to Sri Lanka's path ahead. Bowling-wise, Akila Dananjaya, and Dilruwan Perera have looked most threatening which can be validated by the fact that they picked 15 wickets between them in the second test. So far in the tour, it's not skilled what Sri Lanka have lacked in the series. They've done incredibly well with the bat and the ball, but failure to close-out the crunch situations have cost them the series.
Dimuth Karunaratne, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis , Angelo Mathews, Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, PM Pushpakumara.
England could have been in a spot of bother had Jos Buttler and Sam Curran not contributed with the fifties in the first innings of the match. Their contribution not only dragged the team's total to 290 but also played out the important overs to tire out and frustrate the home team.
Although they conceded sizable first innings lead to Sri Lanka, excellent batting by Ben Foakes and Joe Root negated that as England amassed 346 runs in total. The injury to Sam Curran will make him sit out for the final test which is a huge loss considering the balance he adds to the team. Also, James Anderson will be rested for the third test and Chris Broad will certainly replace him. Also, Jonny Bairstow will come back into the side at the expense of injured Curran.
Despite Anderson sitting out of the next game, English quick-bowling doesn't look weak at all with Broad replacing Anderson. So far in the competition, their spinners have been super-effective, even more than that of the hosts. Moeen Ali, Jack Leach, and Adil Rashid have delivered mind-boggling performance and their performance will continue to be a key indicator of how England fares in the third test and subcontinent conditions as a whole.
Rory Burns, KK Jennings, Jonny Bairstow, JE Root, BA Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Ben Foakes, AU Rashid, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad.
With surface likely to break towards the end of the match and batting last becoming a challenge, we expect the captain winning the toss to bat first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Just like the surfaces in the first two tests, the surface here is likely to assist spinners throughout the match. The teams will continue to persist with the strategy of three spinners. Once again, the first innings lead will carry significant importance and batting last will be a challenge in itself.
It's been a remarkable turnaround for England as they've been a side which has always seemed to struggle while playing away from home after the retirements of Ian Bell, Jonathan Trott, and Kevin Pietersen. The combination of Bayliss and Root has been working well so far as England's aggressive approach in all formats is reaping big dividends. England have appeared to be a better side on this tour so far and even with rested players and injury concerns, they are more likely to emerge on top in the third and final assignment of this test series.
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