England v Sri Lanka 2nd ODI: Strength in depth of hosts’ batting highlighted by draw
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 22, 2016
England v Sri Lanka
- Second One Day International of five
- Friday, June 24th
- Play starts: 14:00 BST
- Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands (Warwickshire CCC ground)
- Live on Sky Sports 2
Plunkett delivers in last-gasp draw
England were indebted to their very deep batting line-up in shorter forms of cricket for rescuing an unlikely draw with Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge, following a top order batting collapse that saw the hosts slump to 30-4 in the first One Day International (ODI) of a five-match series.
Liam Plunkett scored a sensational six off the final delivery in the 50 overs contest to tie the game, with both teams posting scores of 286. Trevor Bayliss will be particularly disappointed with the contributions of Jason Roy, Alex Hales and Joe Root – the first three in who scored just nine runs between them.
Nonetheless, Coral make England firm odds-on 1/3 favourites to follow up on their opening draw with victory at Edgbaston. Touring Sri Lanka are 9/4 outsiders and, once again, no price is available on a tie.
Buttler and Woakes work wonders with the bat
English cricket’s golden boy Root really has been below his best recently, yet is persistently the subject of enhanced wincast offers with a 9/2 on him being the best with the bat.
There’s a lot more to like about backing wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler to be top dog at the crease for the hosts at superb 6/1 odds. ODIs are just tailor-made for him to smash it around and show he’s not just talented with the globes.
Buttler made 93, recording seven boundaries, including the only other six scored by England, at Trent Bridge. Chris Woakes’ unbeaten 95 was the top scorer by a home team player, but a repeat of him being best batsman again is unlikely at 20/1.
Sri Lanka skipper shows all-round ability
Touring captain Angelo Mathews is another who excels in shorter forms of cricket, and he produced the best Sri Lanka score with the bat (63, including five fours) and figures with the ball (2-22) last time out.
Only England spinner Adil Rashid posted a better economy than Mathews, but failed to get any wickets. If punters feel he can lead by example again, then back Mathews at 7/2 (best batsman) and 5/1 (top bowler) once more.
Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep both took a couple of victims at Trent Bridge, but were vastly more expensive economy-wise for Sri Lanka. They are equal 3/1 chances to be best Sri Lankan bowler in Birmingham.
Pacemen ones to watch with the ball
As the tourists are used to the spin offered in England’s attack by Rashid and Moeen Ali, who returns to his former stomping ground here, pace bowling proved more problematic both during the Test series and opening One Day game.
Yorkshire left-hander David Willey (10/3 to be best with the ball) and Warwickshire’s own Woakes (better at 7/2) took identical figures of 2-56 from 10 overs at Trent Bridge, so remain the real attacking threats to Sri Lanka.
Punters should also remember Plunkett took two wickets, but for more runs in that initial ODI encounter. He will have to improve his economy at Edgbaston to live up to odds of 4/1 to be best England bowler.