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England vs Sri Lanka | Karunaratne’s Side in Must-Win Clash Against On-Song England

Cricketnext Staff |June 21, 2019, 7:26 AM IST
England vs Sri Lanka | Karunaratne’s Side in Must-Win Clash Against On-Song England

Sri Lanka, like South Africa before them, are in a battle to survive in the ICC World Cup 2019. Four points from their first five games — including two washouts — mean Dimuth Karunaratne’s side have to win all of the remaining games starting from the match against hosts England at Headingly in Leeds on Friday (June 21).

Sri Lanka have quite the task at hand as they will come up against an in-form England after enduring a lackluster campaign so far. Lanka’s only win came against Afghanistan in a rain-affected game in Cardiff and apart from that they have been outclassed by New Zealand and Australia.

Eoin Morgan’s side have lived up to their billing as the favourites for the title at home. They are comfortably placed near the top of the table with four wins in five games, toppling 300 in four games as well — the highest of 397 coming in their last game against Afghanistan earlier this week.

This will be the first game of the World Cup for Headingley, which last hosted an England-Pakistan ODI before the tournament and it was no surprise that the hosts toppled 350 in that game as well. The likes of Jonny Bairstow, Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler will look to cash in on another sunny day at Leeds.

The Sri Lankan campaign has never really taken off with only skipper Karunaratne and his opening partner Kusal Perera among the runs, scoring 179 and 159 runs respectively. Their middle-order has crumbled in every game so far and as a result they have failed to post a decent total on board.

England’s Jofra Archer and Mark Wood will test the Sri Lankan middle-order with their extra pace. The Lankans might be desperate for a win but turning the table on the hosts might be a bridge too far.

Last Five ODIs

England: WLWWW

The only blemish in their record so far has been a 14-run shock defeat at the hands of Pakistan. Even in that game, England batsmen managed to tally over 330 runs with Joe Root and Buttler scoring centuries. The hosts have dominated the other games with wins over South Africa, Bangladesh, West Indies and Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka: LWNRNRL

Their only win in the last five ODIs is against Afghanistan. Even in that win, Sri Lanka collapsed after a flying start by Kusal Perera. Their last big ODI win was back in October 2018, when they defeated England in fifth ODI at Colombo by 219 runs (D/L method)

Players to watch out for

Jos Buttler: The England batting unit has been performing like a well-oiled machine and that’s why they have managed to win so comfortably even with only a couple of performances from Buttler’s blade. With the business end of the tournament coming up for the hosts, Morgan will hope for more time in the middle for Buttler so that he can also be in top form.

Dimuth Karunaratne: Sri Lanka's ODI skipper, who in fact just made a comeback to the team after the 2015 World Cup, has been their top performer with the willow so far. He has led the way with 179 runs and looked compact as well as elegant in all conditions. With the middle-order battling for form, Sri Lanka will need another big contribution from Karunaratne if they hope to push England.

Team News/Availability

England: Opener Jason Roy will continue to be sidelines with injury, so James Vince will once again be asked to open the batting with Jonny Bairstow.

Sri Lanka: They don’t have any injury concerns and Karunaratne has a full squad to pick his final XI from.

Squads

England: Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes,James Vince, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay.

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Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
IND
9 7 1 1 15 +0.80
2
AUS
9 7 2 0 14 +0.86
3
ENG
9 6 3 0 12 +1.15
4
NZ
9 5 3 1 11 +0.17
5
PAK
9 5 3 1 11 -0.43
6
SL
9 3 4 2 8 -0.91
7
SA
9 3 5 1 7 -0.03
8
BAN
9 3 5 1 7 -0.41
9
WI
9 2 6 1 5 -0.22
10
AFG
9 0 9 0 0 -1.32

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more