Sri Lanka vs England: Third ODI Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

Jonhenry Wilson previews the third ODI between Sri Lanka and England which is set to get underway on Wednesday 17 October. 

Sri Lanka bowled quite well in the second ODI in Dambulla, but a batting collapse and then a torrential downpour ensured they were easily put away by England.

England will be delighted with the form of middle-order men Joe Root and Eoin Morgan - and opening bowlers Chris Woakes and Olly Stone.

Sri Lanka vs England | Wednesday 17 October | Pallekele International Stadium | 11:00

To Win Match
Sri Lanka 9/4
Tie 35/1 
England 7/20

Sri Lanka
Having sacked former skipper Angelo Mathews just before the series, Sri Lanka look to be in desperate need of an in-form senior batsman. The top-order misfired in Dambulla, slipping to 74 for five before a rally from all-rounders Dhananjaya De Silva and Thisara Perera.

Sri Lanka know that batting will be crucial in next year's World Cup in the United Kingdom, where the surfaces are set to be paradise for the batsmen, but they will need to overcome their fragility against fast bowling up front.

Lasith Malinga has rolled back the years since making his return to ODI cricket during the Asia Cup in September. The pace ace bagged his first ODI five-for for four years in Dambulla to prevent England from going beyond the 300 mark.

If Sri Lanka are to win a match, their bowlers will have to bowl out of their skins and Akila Dananjaya could be the man who provides the spark with his mystery spin.

England
Openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have yet to capitalise on some handy starts, but the middle-order has proven solid throughout the series so far.

Test skipper Root and ODI captain Morgan have been able to counter the threat posed by the Sri Lanka spinners through the so-called 'middle overs' - and have been critical in assessing the surfaces in Dambulla.

England have not had to bowl too many overs in this series so far, 29 in total, but will be happy with the start they have made. Moeen Ali bowled out his 10 in Dambulla and Liam Dawson kept it tight while picking up a wicket. Opening bowlers Woakes and Stone stole the show while the only real question is around the form of Adil Rashid, whose two overs went for 15.

The tourists could start experimenting with different combinations now, with one eye on next year's World Cup.

England have played two ODIs in Pallekele, the venue for the final three ODIs, winning one and losing the other. Both of the previous matches between the two sides at the venue came during the 2014 series.

Verdict: England 7/20
England should comfortably have enough firepower to put Sri Lanka away for the second time. 

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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