Eng vs SL 2016, 3rd ODI – Preview
Following a dominant ten-wicket win on Friday, England will look to continue its charge against Sri Lanka in Bristol in the third ODI of the five-match series on Sunday (June 26).
England has wrapped up the multi-format Super Series, leading 13-3 on points, and a win on Sunday will help it take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 50-over games.
Sri Lanka showed immense promise in the first game, which culminated in a dramatic tie with Liam Plunkett muscling a six off the last ball. Its performance in that game was largely taken as a sign of resurgence, but the second match at Edgbaston dented that narrative.
Alex Hales and Jason Roy, England’s openers, were brutal in their approach and unperturbed by the bowling from the Sri Lankans. With only 254 runs on the board to defend, the bowlers lacked the determination and Hales and Roy cashed in with centuries.
In the batting department too, the Sri Lankans struggled. Barring Dinesh Chandimal (52), no batsman registered a half-century. Plunkett and Adil Rashid were the two most impressive bowlers for England, bagging two scalps each. Apart from the 82-run partnership between Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lanka skipper, and Chandimal, there were no substantial partnerships to boost Sri Lanka.
Eoin Morgan, the English skipper, was all praise for his openers, but did not ignore the contributions of the bowlers. “It was a lot more like us in the field and we bowled well too; we weren’t great at Trent Bridge but restricting them to 254 was a great effort,” said Morgan. “Roy and Hales were exceptional – they put on a clinic for everyone watching, in the crowd, and it was a pleasure to be here and witness it.”
England will be pleased with how it bounced back after a near-defeat in the first game. Sri Lanka has been pushed back into a corner. The injury that prevented Mathews from bowling in the second match doesn’t bode well for it either.
In the post-match press conference Mathews sounded uncertain on whether he’d be able to roll his arm over. “I’ll try my best, I’ll give it a go tomorrow and see if I can come up with a few overs,” he said.
The deflated Sri Lankan side will have fingers crossed in hope that its captain can take the field for the third ODI in full capacity in order to give itself the best chance to turn the tables.