Sri Lanka mentally ahead after England Durham drubbing
The scores are tied after the first two battles in the five-match ODI series between England (evens to win) and Sri Lanka, but the visitors hold the upper hand and confidence going into Old Trafford after a crushing victory.
Sri Lanka (odds-on 4/5 favourites) won the last fixture at Chester-le-Street by a whopping 157 runs, as the hosts were skittled out for just 99 runs after failing to match the 256 score set.
Stand-in captain Eoin Morgan (in place of injured Alastair Cook) said on the defeat: “It’s as badly as we can bat. It was one of the worst performances I’ve been a part of in an England shirt. I can’t explain why we played that badly.
“It was a little bit tacky, and nipped around a small bit, but we’re good enough to negotiate that. It’s a pitch we would have turned up at and said ‘yes, perfect, we’d love to play’, especially against a side like Sri Lanka. But we’ve been outplayed.”
Irishman Morgan, who top scored in that second ODI match with 40 for the home side (just one of two England players to reach double figures), is 7/2 to be best batsman again.
Opener Ian Bell, meanwhile, who got 12 in the fixture and 50 in the first ODI, is priced at 10/3, the same as Cook, who is expected to return from his groin strain.
One bright spot for England was left-arm seamer and recent international new-comer Harry Gurney, who took figures of 3-59 off his 10 overs. The Nottinghamshire player is also 10/3 to be top bowler for his country.
For Sri Lanka, experienced batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan, 37, proved once again that age doesn’t matter for him and hit a brilliant 88 from 101 balls. He is 10/3 to be top batsman for his team.
Spinner Sachithra Senanayake has gained seven wickets in the first two ODIs, including getting figures of 4-13 last time out. He is priced at 3/1 t be top Sri Lanka bowler again.