Eng vs SL 2016, 4th ODI – Preview
England will look to the seal the five-match One-Day International series against Sri Lanka during the fourth game at The Oval in London on Wednesday (June 29).
The home side leads the five-match series 1-0 after its comprehensive ten-wicket win in the second game at Edgbaston. The first game ended in a thrilling tie at Trent Bridge while rain ensured a no-result in the third ODI in Bristol.
England has displayed all-round dominance throughout the series and has gone from strength to strength as the series has unfolded. Having ridden on unbeaten centuries by Alex Hales and Jason Roy in the second game, England did well to restrict Sri Lanka to 248 for 9 in 50 overs in the third match. The Sri Lankan middle-order trio of Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews all hit half-centuries but couldn’t carry on, as the visiting side faltered towards the end of its innings. Chris Woakes, who was instrumental in helping the hosts tie the first ODI, and Liam Plunkett picked three wickets apiece, making sure that Sri Lanka didn’t run away with the game.
Riding high on confidence after a record ODI opening partnership of 256 in Birmingham, Roy and Hales could not repeat the feat as Hales was caught, chasing a wide delivery from Suranga Lakmal, for nought off the first ball he faced. Roy was joined by Joe Root and England was 16 for 1 in four overs before rain had the final say.
After showing promise in the first ODI, Sri Lanka has struggled to keep the momentum going, both with bat and ball. It will need to extract contributions from batsmen and bowlers if it wants to stay alive in the series.
Sri Lanka’s batsmen have shown improvement from the Test series, but have failed to convert good starts into big scores. The bowlers, on the other hand, would be disappointed with the way they bowled in the first two ODIs. The side will also want an improved effort on the field.
Jolted by injuries to Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera and the suspension of Shaminda Eranga due to a suspect action, Sri Lanka’s inexperienced bowling side has to step up and complement the improved batting line-up to translate hopes of a turnaround into reality.