Sri Lanka v England: Fifth ODI Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

The series may be gone but there were encouraging signs from Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI - and they will be looking for a strong finish to a disappointing series, writes Jonhenry Wilson.

England, meanwhile, were not happy with their effort in the field in Kandy after letting Sri Lanka off the hook with the ball.

Sri Lanka v England
Tuesday, 23 October
R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium

To Win Match
Sri Lanka 26/10
Tie 35/1
England 29/100

Sri Lanka
Some pieces of the puzzle are falling into place for Sri Lanka but they still have major concerns around their batting.

Kusal Mendis has endured a nightmare run at number four but, with Kusal Perera out injured, there is no ready replacement for the hosts. They will take heart from the performances of Niroshan Dickwella and Dasun Shanaka, though, as they notched quick 50's in tough circumstances.
Sri Lanka have been sloppy in the field, letting down the bowlers who have been quite good for the most part. They have been led by the mystery spin of Akila Dananjaya and veteran pace-man Lasith Malinga, who has enjoyed a startling revival since returning to the ODI side at the Asia Cup.

Skipper Dinesh Chandimal will need to find a way to convert his starts to offset the failures of Mendis at number four. Sri Lanka might challenge England in the final match if openers Dickwella and Sadeera Samarawickrama can both fire and give the hosts a solid platform.

The tourists have struggled to find their rhythm on a tour that has been marred by monsoon rains but have done the business in each game - and head into the fifth ODI with a three-nil lead.

Skipper Eoin Morgan has been the standout performer for the tourists alongside number three Joe Root. The two have prevented the Sri Lanka tweakers from running through the England middle-order and have profited from the platforms granted by Jason Roy up-front.

It has been an excellent maiden tour for Olly Stone so far but he might have to make way for either Mark Wood or Liam Plunkett in the finale. Stone has kept it tight up front and intimidated Sri Lanka's batsmen in a similar way to Plunkett, though at a slower pace. Plunkett himself could return to the XI, having just returned from tying the knot.

All-rounders Sam Curran and Joe Denly could also be in line for their first appearances of the tour. Denly was added to the ODI squad after an injury to Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson. He last played an ODI in the 2009 ICC Champions trophy.

Verdict: England 29/100
The tourists have been a class apart from their hosts and should have enough quality to complete a four-nil series win.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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