About the Match
England registered their second victory of the series against Sri Lanka to make a comeback and inch closer to draw level; the 7-match one day series is positioned at 3-2 favouring the hosts and the two teams will now face each other for the 6th ODI at Pallekele on 13th Dec. The visitors brought out an all-round performance to restrict Lanka to a meagre 239 runs, which the batsmen achieved in style. The upcoming match is a crucial one for both teams; player performance needs to be at its best as both sides see this as a good opportunity to boost their morale for the world cup.
Batting first, the team started well but lost their way with quick dismissals; while Dilshan scored a blitzing 35 off 31, Jayawardene succumbed to Woakes after scoring just 2. Sangakkara continues to be dependable as contributed with a well-made 91 runs; Mathews was the other batsman to provide some hope with his 40 off 76 but the rest fell like a pack of cards against a rejuvenated English attack. With just 239 runs to defend, Senanayake’s 2-35 and the efforts of others like Dilshan, Mendis and Perera wasn’t enough to stop the opponents from winning the match. The team has done well in chasing as witnessed in the previous match; Herath and Dilshan had combined to restrict England to 265, which the batsmen led by Sangakkara and Mathews achieved just in time. However, the players need to be cautious against a resurgent English performance and come out all guns blazing whether in setting a target or during chase.
A splendid bowling display by Chris Woakes, who achieved a figure of 6-47, took the team to a dominating position in the fifth ODI; this was his second six-for figure and put him in an elite class of bowlers to have performed a similar feat. Chris Jordan has also been consistent as he claimed 2-56 in the last match; previously too he was instrumental in restricting the Lankans with his regular wicket-taking abilities. Steven Finn, Tredwell and Ali bring variety to the attack with Bopara and Root proving to be good assets in the bowling squad. Facing 240 as target, the batsmen showed determination and Root’s excellent 104 off 117 provided the thrust to win the match convincingly. James Taylor continued with his strong performance with the bat as he scored a well-made 68 off 90 balls while Bopara continues to keep the scoreboard ticking; in the previous match, it was Ali and Root who had taken the team safely home and are looking pretty good. Overall, the players are more confident about their chances here and will need to pack a punch to keep their hopes alive.
The series has been a roller-coaster ride for both the teams as they use their resources to dominate the other in each match; while Sri Lanka had a disappointing match in the last game, England seems to be showing signs of improvement. Though the Lankans will bring out all the weapons in their armoury to clinch the title, we feel England will emerge victorious here to keep the battle on.
England, 2.37 @ Bet365