England To Get On The Board After Washout

Will Morgan lead his team to victory?

The weather prevented a result in the opening one-day international of the series between Sri Lanka and England in their clash at Dambulla.

There was time for the Three Lions to take to the crease and they managed to put 92 runs in 15 overs before the rain came, losing two wickets in the process. Jonny Bairstow was the first to fall for 25, edging a delivery from Nuwan Pradeep behind for Niroshan Dickwella.

Jason Roy fell victim to the mystery spin of Akila Dananjaya, but Joe Root and Eoin Morgan were looking composed at the crease before conditions ended the contest. The tourists would have been grateful for a look at Dananjaya in a competitive environment without the pressure of a result.

England’s selected Olly Stone and Liam Dawson for the match ahead of Mark Wood and Liam Plunkett, opting for the extra spinner in the contest. It will be interesting to see whether they opt for the same line-up in Dambulla again pending the condition of the pitch.

Sri Lanka were as expected and may be slightly concerned over the performance of Lasith Malinga as Bairstow and Roy found their touch against the paceman in the early stages. We’ll now break down the leading betting markets for game two of the series.

Will Morgan lead his team to victory?

Sri Lanka’s Top Batsman

The home side would have been disappointed not to have had a chance to bat first against England to size up the opposition. Whereas England got a decent look at players they’re not entirely sure of, Sri Lanka missed out on the opportunity to come up against the pace of Stone. The importance of their openers remains the most crucial aspect of the series. They have to be able to keep pace with England’s free-flowing line-up even if the conditions do favour low-scoring contests.

Upul Thuranga has always succeeded against the Three Lions and there’s no reason to suggest why that will not change in Dambulla for the second match of the series. He boasts the all-round game needed to succeed. The veteran averages over fifty against England, with three centuries and three fifties to his name. Thuranga’s last ODI century came last year against Pakistan at Abu Dhabi, and his side need that sort of performance from him in Dambulla. Back him at odds of +350   with Bet365 to lead the way in the run column for the home team.

England’s Top Batsman

Sri Lanka handed England a decent opportunity to get their eye in against Dananjaya in the opener before the rain came. The Three Lions have endured their struggles against spin in the past and the chance to see the mystery turn may benefit them in the long run over the course of the series. Roy lost his wicket to Dananjaya for 24, but his departure did allow Root and Morgan an opportunity to find their feet in the conditions.

Root remains the class act of the England batting order and he looked extremely comfortable out in the middle, scoring 25 off 28 deliveries, notching four boundaries in the process. He has an outstanding record against Sri Lanka, averaging over 60 against the Lions in 20 matches. The 27-year-old has made two of his 14 centuries against them, including one on his last tour of the country at Pallekele and another in the last World Cup at Wellington. Root has been in excellent form in ODIs over the past year. Back him to continue his impressive touch at the crease at odds of  +300 with Bet365.

Sri Lanka’s Top Bowler

Malinga had a tough outing against the England openers along with Root and Morgan at the crease, being dispatched for seven-runs an over in his spell. However, Pradeep and Dananjaya were able to enter the wicket column, accounting for the strikes for Bairstow and Roy respectively. Dananjaya showed elements of his threat, although he may have been better suited opening the bowling. Sri Lanka were able to keep one of their key bowlers in reserve due to the elements.

Lakshan Sandakan is a left-arm wrist spinner and could pose problems. It took England time over the course of the summer to work out Kuldeep Yadav. They fell victim to him during the T20 series along with the opening ODI. Sandakan has experience at the highest level, although he does not quite possess the quality of Yadav. Sri Lanka will be still be looking for one of their key men to lead the way in the wicket column. Sandakan could go under the radar at odds of +400   with Bet365 on value.

England’s Top Bowler

The Three Lions made a bold choice to go with Dawson and Stone ahead of proven commodities Wood and Plunkett. England are looking at alternative options to Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali as their frontline spinners, lacking depth in the shorter formats of the game. Dawson has the opportunity to prove his worth potentially carving out a niche role in the sub-continent. Rashid and Ali will still be the men Morgan looks to for wickets and control in the middle stages of the innings. The combination of Chris Woakes and Stone could be effective at the top of the order.

England are crying out for an out-and-out paceman that can keep himself fit. Wood has struggled for fitness and for wickets during his time on the field. Stone is an exciting prospect at the age of 25 and will be desperate to make an impact on the tour. He was in impressive form of Warwickshire last term and may be able to carry that momentum into the second game of the series. Take him at odds of +400   to lead the wicket column with Bet365.

Match Verdict

England will have been pleased to see Dananjaya in the flesh without the prospect of being forced to take the attack to the spinner. Their batsmen have not had a lot of time in the middle and would have been satisfied with their attempts in difficult conditions.

Sri Lanka’s batting line-up looks short on power so unless their bowling attack to run through the tourists’ side they face an uphill challenge. Back the Three Lions for the victory in Dambulla at odds of -250   with Betway.

Tips Summary

England To Beat Sri Lanka
Saturday 13th October 2018 05:30 BST
Odds: -250

Upul Tharanga To Be Sri Lanka’s Top Batsman
Saturday 13th October 2018 05:30 BST
Odds: +350

Lakshan Sandakan To Be Sri Lanka’s Top Bowler
Saturday 13th October 2018 05:30 BST
Odds: +400

Joe Root To Be England’s Top Batsman
Saturday 13th October 2018 05:30 BST
Odds: +300

Olly Stone To Be England’s Top Bowler
Saturday 13th October 2018 05:30 BST
Odds: +400