See-saw series sets up salivating final Sri Lanka ODI
A brutal hitting display yet again from England’s young star wicket-keeper/batsman Jos Buttler was not enough to secure a series victory for the hosts against a much-improved Sri Lanka.
The 23-year-old Lancashire new signing smashed 121 off just 74, but was run out in the final over as the home side came up short and lost by seven runs. He is an 8/1 shot to top score for England one again.
Buttler’s impressive performances since wearing the England shirt in the short forms of the game have given boss Peter Moores something to think about ahead of the Test series with Sri Lanka starting on June 12th. Usual keeper Matt Prior is struggling with form and fitness currently.
“Well obviously Jos has been talked about a lot,” the former Lancashire coach said. “I mean certainly, how he played the other day doesn’t do him any harm, it was a fantastic innings. And I think Jos is a rapidly-emerging player so he’s certainly, as I say, done himself no harm.
“I think if [Prior’s] fit then he’s a very strong contender. But, as I say, Jos for me is improving quickly. I thought he kept really well as well, so certainly [he’s] pushed his name forward.”
Alastair Cook’s men and Sri Lanka are priced equally to win this deciding ODI international odds-on at 10/11 and, at 2-2, there is really nothing in it.
Both sides have managed to recover from crushing defeats during this series, with England getting bowled out for just 99 in the second match, before skittling out the tourists for a meagre 67 the following ODI.
With Kumar Sangakkara top scoring in that match with just 13, he managed to do the same last time out, but this time getting a fantastic 112 off 104 balls. He is 11/4 to be top Sri Lanka batsman for a third time in a row.
Opener Tillakaratne Dilshan, meanwhile, who hit 71 in the fourth ODI, and also top scored in the second, is priced at 10/3.
Expert death-bowler Lasith Malinga, who managed to restrict a charging England in the final over – including getting the crucial run out of Buttler – took figures of 3-52 in his 10 overs. He is 11/4 to be top Sri Lanka bowler again.
Harry Gurney (4-55), James Anderson (2-60) and third ODI hero Chris Jordan (2-67) were amongst the wickets again in the last match, are are 3/1, 11/4 and 3/1 chances respectively to get the best England figures.