About the Match
Disappointed with their unexpected defeat against New Zealand by 9 runs through D/L method, England will now need to survive the Lankan challenge on Mar 27th at Chittagong if they want to keep their hopes alive in the tournament. Sri Lanka leads the points table in Group 1 with 4 points and an impressive run rate after their phenomenal victory against Netherlands. It needs to be seen if the English can withstand the bowling attack by the opponents and display their batting strengths; or if Sri Lanka succeeds to continue winning, thereby remaining to be front-runners in this group. The contest will surely not be one-sided with both teams having clear objectives in mind; the team that can use its resources according to the ground conditions, will have the upper hand.
The batsmen did very well to get to 172 runs batting first against the Kiwis in the last match; this was the highest total set by a team at Chittagong, but even so, it fell a few runs short to overcome the D/L challenge after the rains started to play spoilsport. Luck didn’t favor the brave efforts of the English as they tried their best to salvage the match; but with Stuart’s expensive over that leaked away 16 runs, the contest slipped away from their fingers. Dernbach did well to take the opening wicket but the others could hardly make a dent on the opposition in the 5 overs they got to bowl. The batting display was impressive with Michael Lumb, Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler contributing well to keep the scoreboard ticking; Bopara put up a good fight and Bresnan supported him in the end to take the total to a defendable one. The players put up a good show after their disastrous performances in all the recent series away from home; they need to keep the faith and continue to give their hundred percent to survive the upcoming challenges.
Tight bowling, stupendous batting and complete domination on the field are just a few ways describe Sri Lanka’s consistent performance in the T20 format and they have only started to warm-up. Winning both their matches, first one against South Africa by 5 runs and the next against Netherlands in a record-setting performance by the bowlers, the Lankans are riding high on their winning momentum and will be the team to beat this season. Playing in tandem, the bowlers have been complimenting the batting efforts of their mates, defending totals as witnessed against the Proteas and attacking the opposition mercilessly as against the Dutch. Malinga, Mendis, Mathews and Senanayake have been disciplined and are in great form; with support from Kulasekara and Perera, this is a deadly bowling squad. Kusal Perera played a brilliant innings against South Africa, posting 61 off 40 balls; Mathews contributed with 43 off 32 deliveries and the batting skills of players like Jayawardene, Sangakkara, Dilshan and Chandimal gives the team the required edge here.
England is trying to revive its T20 performance after suffering a long dry spell and it has become imperative for the team to register a win sooner than later if they want to move ahead in the series; however, Sri Lanka is at the top of the game and with their superior bowling attack, look well placed to win the match.
Sri Lanka, 1.83 @ Titan Bet