England face uphill World Twenty20 task against super Sri Lanka
England face tournament second-favourites Sri Lanka (3/1) next in their second World Twenty20 match after the harsh nine run defeat – on the Duckworth-Lewis method – to New Zealand (10/1).
Rain stopped play in the fifth over of the Kiwi’s innings after England posted an impressive 172-6 off their 20 overs. Moeen Ali top scored for Ashley Giles’ men with 36 from 23 balls and can be backed at 9/2 to be best batsman on the day again for them.
Sri Lanka have looked impressive in their first two matches, after beating South Africa by five wickets – thanks to opener Kusal Perera’s 61 (20/1 to top scorer again) – and destroying the Netherlands.
The Dutch were demolished as they were skittled all out for just 39 in 10.3 overs, with spinner Ajantha Mendis getting the best figures of 3-12 from his 2.3 overs, who is 3/1 to be top Sri Lanka bowler again. They are odds-on favourites to beat England, to make it three wins out of three, at 8/15.
All-rounder Tim Bresnan, who smashed 17 off eight balls against New Zealand, is in high spirits, however. “We’re still confident. Things haven’t gone our way over the last few months but we still believe we’re playing good cricket, turning out good performances,” the Yorkshireman said.
“But stringing together everything at the same time is a problem for us. If we can find that spark and everything clicks, we can beat anyone in the world.”
England start the match with odds of 6/4 to beat Sri Lanka and get off the mark in Group 1. Their price of winning the World Twenty20, however, has drifted from 14/1 (pre-tournament) to 25/1.
The top two teams from each group qualify for the semi-finals, and England are fourth-favourites to achieve that at 14/1, while Sri Lanka are odds-on at 1/3.