Can Sri Lanka get out of their rut?

Olly Stone returns to training © Getty Images

General image

The rain in Dambulla could not prevent a result this time, and he could not rescue Sri Lanka from another defeat in ODIs (a record that now he reads 31 of his last 41 games completed). Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara Perera at least threatened to give England a Duckworth-Lewis-Stern headache, although in reality, the initial damage of 31 for 4 and 74 for 5 was too great, while Lasith Malinga shook her curls in a harvest. Bowling shows of death, but England held the advantage to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

The teams have now moved to the mountainous region of Kandy, where the third and fourth ODI will be played. England has won before at Pallekele International Stadium, inspired by a hundred Joe Root, but it was also where the 2014 series escaped their reach, as Kumar Sangakkara enjoyed the adulation of his local audience and prepared Sri Lanka for a 4 -2 lead with one to play. How could the side of Dinesh Chandimal do some kandyan magic this time.

Having fought up to 278 for 9, despite the slow-moving bungee bombardment of Malinga, England would be happy to "face it" successfully, as Jonny Bairstow put it during construction, to establish a competitive total. The new pair of balls from Chris Woakes (who took a six at Pallekele four years ago) and Olly Stone then flew the maximum order from Sri Lanka, to make a deceptive defense seem comfortable.

However, an injury sustained by Liam Dawson during his 6-0-26-1 spell, he rushed England to make sure he completed 20 shots before the rain came, which means they will have to make a change for the Third ODI. Playing three spinners is not a familiar strategy for England, and you can see the results that Woakes and Stone enjoy in Dambulla and conclude that more road is the way to go. The side of England of a day has a seemingly unlimited confidence, but they will need to be on guard; With more dubious climate in perspective, that could be a leveler, as Sri Lanka seeks to level the contest.

Form Guide

Sri Lanka LLLWW (last five complete matches, the most recent first)

England WWWLW

In the spotlight

On Saturday Lasith Malinga showed that he still had all the old movements: those slower balls, those little yorkers, that 140 km / h spin. Throughout the rest of the series, you must show that you have the resistance. During the Asian Cup, he took four windows in his first game in more than a year, but was less effective in the match against Afghanistan 48 hours later. You have more time to recover between games during this series, of course, but if the second ODI is a clue, you will be asked to deliver long periods of up to five repetitions at the time of death, and you may be asked to do so. game after game It remains to be seen if you can maintain the intensity of Saturday through the series.

England's first glimpse of Stone in an international competition could hardly have been more enjoyable. The Warwickshire man bounced back to Niroshan Dickwella and touched 90 mph during a 4-0-7-1 opening spell, giving England's rhythm attack another exciting option as they prepare for a home World Cup. The arrival of Stone has not meant a place for Mark Wood, virtually a constant gift on the side of the 50 in the summer, while England also has the varied skills of the Curran brothers in reserve. With Woakes instantly clicking again on the form that made him the Man of the Series in New Zealand last winter, Liam Plunkett returns for the last two ODIs in Sri Lanka, and David Willey is recovering from an injury, they are accumulating some depth.

Team news

Kusal Perera has suffered a variety of quad, which means that Sadeera Samarawickrama will play his fourth ODI and the first in 10 months.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 3 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (capt), 5 Dhananjaya de Silva, 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Akila Dananjaya, 9 Lakshan Sandakan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Nuwan Pradeep

With the replacement of Dawson, Joe Denly, who only arrived at Pallekele on the morning of the match, there is likely to be a change in the team's composition. The angle of Sam Curran's left arm (and the additional batting) could give him the nod.

England (possible): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (week), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Sam Curran / Tom Curran, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Olly Stone

Tuning and conditions

The weather forecast for Wednesday is not promising, with thunderstorms forecast to arrive in the afternoon. However, the drainage in this terrain is generally good, and there is the possibility of obtaining a shorter phosphorus as long as the rains end soon enough. The playing field itself is likely to be good enough to hit, but there is usually something for the bowlers in this place.

Statistics and trivia

  • Sri Lanka has lost four of its last five ODIs in Pallekele. The victory came in the most recent of those games, against South Africa. However, that match was a dead blow, and South Africa had supported key players.
  • Since his return in September, after more than a year out of international cricket, Malinga has 10 windows with an average of 17, with an economy rate of 4.85, in the 35 surpluses he has played.
  • Bairstow became the first batter to complete 1000 ODI races in 2018 in Dambulla, but the two men who are under him on that list are also hitters from England. Joe Root and Jason Roy have 896 and 804 races respectively.
  • Chris Woakes has not developed without problems in the last 11 ODI he has played. In that period, it has taken 21 windows at an average of 23.57, with an economy rate of 5.21.


"If we do not lose two or three windows in the first 10 excesses, we will get to a much better position, Forty without loss should be the goal".
Dasun Shanaka points to a better start for the higher order of Sri Lanka

"Sometimes you think, I'd love to open, but the way the guys have played for a few years now I do not see a single one, I think I should be hitting before … I have to make an impact on number seven "
Moeen Ali reflects on his luck, four years after scoring a total of 72 balls opening the batting in Colombo

Alan Gardner is associate editor of ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


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