England To Get Back To Form In T20

Will Hales find his touch?

Sri Lanka produced an outstanding performance to defeat a much-changed England side, inflicting the heaviest one-day international defeat in the Three Lions’ history.

Eoin Morgan opted to leave himself out of the side, handing the captaincy over to Jos Buttler. Mark Wood, Sam Curran and Liam Plunkett also came into the fold.

The decisions from the Three Lions proved to be disastrous as their bowling attack struggled immensely on a flat wicket in Colombo. Niroshan Dickwellla continue his good form with a sublime innings, falling just short of a century by five runs.

Dinesh Chandimal, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Kusal Mendis also made fifties to guide their side to a huge total of 366-6 from their 50 overs – their highest total against England in ODI cricket.

The tourists were under pressure from the off, losing early wickets as Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root and Buttler departed cheaply. Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali offered resistance, but it was not enough to stop England from slipping their heaviest defeat in the 50-over format.

Both teams now prepare for a solitary T20 contest before the Test series. Further changes could in store for England to rest their key men before the attention turns to the five-day format.

Will Hales find his touch?

Sri Lanka’s Top Batsman

After a slow start to the ODI series Dickwella found his form by the end of the contests. England brought bowlers in from the cold at Colombo and were duly punished by the opener and the rest of the Sri Lanka top order. Dickwella carved out a reputation a clean hitter down the ground in the early stages of his career and he was able to take advantage of the flat pitch and mediocre bowling to put England to the sword. The 25-year-old is one of the most exciting players that Sri Lanka have at their disposal.

He is capable of producing the quick runs needed at the top of the order to help his team become competitive in the shorter formats of the game. The opener appears to have found his range after struggling to time the ball off Chris Woakes and Olly Stone in the second and third ODIs. Sri Lanka need another big performance from Dickwella given his platform. Take him at odds of +500   with Bet365 to lead the run column for the home side at Colombo.

England’s Top Batsman

The Three Lions had a day to forget with the bat in Colombo. Only Stokes managed to emerge with credit from the contest, although the all-rounder would have benefited from time in the middle after barely seeing the crease in the opening four matches. Hales failed in his second game replacing Jonny Bairstow in the line-up. The Nottinghamshire man had an opportunity to put pressure on Bairstow for the opening spot, but once again he could not rise to the occasion, falling for a second-ball duck.

As a result, Bairstow will slot straight back into the team when he regains his fitness, although T20 remains important for Hales to find his touch. The 29-year-old will have another chance to prove his worth to the England team in limited-overs match. At his age, Hales could be under threat by the next generation of players coming through the ranks. Sam Hain among others will be knocking on the door next summer after the World Cup. Hales needs a score before the tour of the West Indies, therefore back him at odds of +300   with Bet365.

Sri Lanka’s Top Bowler

The home side improved as the series progressed in all aspects of the game. Dananjaya has been the model of consistency for Sri Lanka with the ball. He was touted to be a problem for the England batsmen before the start of the ODI series, and although the 25-year-old did not have the effect on the contests as he would have liked, Dananjaya did display his best in the final game. He turned the ball through the England lower order, allowing his side to canter to a comfortable victory.

That would have been the plan for Sri Lanka entering the ODI series for the seamers to eliminate England’s top order and then use Dananjaya to tear through the tail. At least in one match, the hosts were able to prove a point. Dananjaya is a quality operator in the Test match and ODI arena, but has not had the same success in the shortest format. It’s time for him to change that fact at Colombo therefore back him to lead the wicket column for the hosts at odds of +300   with Bet365.

England’s Top Bowler

The performances of Wood, Plunkett and Sam Curran will have given England’s selectors food for thought ahead of the World Cup. Wood’s performance will be the biggest concern considering that his record in the ODI format has not been great since returning to the fold last season. He averages almost 50 with the ball, putting him under huge pressure. Olly Stone has emerged to take his place as the out-and-out pace bowler in the side, leaving Wood’s place in the World Cup squad under threat.

England paid the price for their rotation of their bowlers as none of their pacemen were able to fire in Colombo. Woakes should return to the team for the T20 to lead the attack. The Warwickshire man has become England’s key man with the ball at the top of the innings. He has improved his record away from home over the past couple of years with the white ball. Woakes’ consistency and ability to extract movement off the pitch in the early overs has swung more than one match in the Three Lions’ favour. Back him to produce on his return at odds of +350   with Bet365.

Match Verdict

England will have been furious with the manner of their defeat in the fifth ODI. Morgan was annoyed in his post-match press conference, perhaps highlighting complacency within the ranks. Sri Lanka played well receiving contributions from all around the team. The home side are not good enough to repeat that level of display two games in a row. Back England to get back to winning ways in the T20 at odds of -200   with 888Sport.

Tips Summary

England To Beat Sri Lanka
Saturday 27th October 2018 14:30 BST
Odds: -200

Niroshan Dickwella To Be Sri Lanka’s Top Batsman
Saturday 27th October 2018 14:30 BST
Odds: +500

Akila Dananjaya To Be Sri Lanka’s Top Bowler
Saturday 27th October 2018 14:30 BST
Odds: +300

Alex Hales To Be England’s Top Batsman
Saturday 27th October 2018 14:30 BST
Odds: +300

Chris Woakes To Be England’s Top Bowler
Saturday 27th October 2018 14:30 BST
Odds: +350