About the Match
Taking a 2-0 series lead, Sri Lanka is ecstatic about the way their team is getting geared up for the World Cup preparations whilst England, suffering yet another humiliating defeat against the hosts in the second match by 8 wickets, will be eager to make amends immediately. The two sides go up against each other for the 3rd ODI on 3rd Dec at Hambantota; it will be interesting to see if the Lankans continue with their winning momentum or the English batsmen manage to get their bats do the talking here.
The bowlers continue to enchant the audiences with their precision and wicket-taking abilities, a factor which has always given the team the competitive edge at home and elsewhere; it was Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 2-32 that smothered the English top order while Mendis, Perera and Herath’s combined efforts led to the dismissal of 5 wickets which destabilized the opponent’s batting line-up. The bowling squad is getting stronger with each passing match and by restricting England to 185 runs, getting them all-out by the 44th over has given them the morale boost for the upcoming matches ahead. The batsmen, who have had a good run this year against tough opponents, are also performing well; in the second match, it was the excellent 149-run 3rd wicket partnership between Jayawardene and Sangakkara that took the team to another emphatic victory with more than 10 overs to spare. The two senior players are looking good with the bat while youngsters like Kusal Perera, Mathews and Dilshan provide stability though they need to be consistent with their performance.
Ravi Bopara once again tried to stabilize the innings when most of his mates crumbled under pressure but his 51 off 69 balls weren’t enough to do so; Root recovered from his dry spell and scored 42 off 57 deliveries but the batsmen couldn’t build strong partnerships. Moeen Ali, who had posted a well-made century in the previous match couldn’t repeat the performance while Alistair Cook once again failed to lead from the front. With Morgan, Buttler and others also falling early, the English batting woes are once again in the forefront of their worries for the world cup next year. On the bowling front, Steven Finn, who has joined the squad, could claim only one wicket and Ali contributed with the other wicket of the innings; the rest couldn’t come up with any new tactics to defend their low total of 185 runs. The players need to pull up their socks for the upcoming do or die match, which will decide their fate in the series, and give their best if they want to build their confidence for tougher challenges ahead.
Sri Lanka has gone from strength to strength to solidify their unit and come up with special performances as individuals and as a team; on the other hand, England seems to be finding it very difficult to find match-winners on its side. While the hosts go in as clear favourites to continue with their winning momentum, we feel England will make a comeback with a win here and try to cover some of the lost ground on Wednesday.
England, 2.62 @ Bet365