2016 ICC World Twenty20 Group 1: England can beat title holders Sri Lanka again
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | March 25, 2016
England v Sri Lanka
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 29
- Friday, March 26th
- Play starts: 14:00 GMT
- Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
- Live on Sky Sports 2
England ready to roar against Lions
England (8/15 match favourites with Coral) can all-but secure a place in the 2016 World Twenty20 semi-finals by beating Sri Lanka (6/4) in this Group 1 encounter, and will eliminate the defending champions in the process.
Eoin Morgan’s men were beaten in their tournament opener against the table-topping West Indies, but have since gone on to defeat South Africa after a thrilling run chase before nervously edging out impressive qualifiers Afghanistan.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, can firmly increase their hopes of qualification, after the setback of all losing to the Windies, but will be without injured Lasith Malinga, who has ruled himself out of the competition.
The Lions can boast a better record against England in T20 meetings, having won four out of six including most recently in 2014, but their skipper Malinga did most of the damage with the ball that day.
Smashing Root to see England through
That means the likes of Joe Root, who was instrumental for England in beating the Proteas’ impressive total of 229, can play with even more freedom.
Yorkshireman Root tops the England batting market at 11/4, while he is the subject of an enhanced Coral wincast with odds of 5/1 for him to be best batsman and his team win.
Alex Hales (3/1), meanwhile, will be hoping to recover in time after missing out against Afghanistan to injury. His magnificent unbeaten knock of 116 off just 64 deliveries in the last World Twenty20 helped England be the only team to beat eventual champions Sri Lanka that campaign, while he’s also hit 66 past them before too.
Captain Morgan and his deputy Jos Buttler have hit decent scores against the Lions too, so are respective 5/1 and 13/2 shouts in the batting market.
Spin has been key for England
Moeen Ali also impressed with the bat late in England’s innings to help them post a respectable score against the courageous Afghans last time out, and is 10/1 in the same market again.
Predictably, spinners Adil Rashid (11/4 favourite to get the best figures) and Ali (4/1) have been best with the ball on Indian soil for Trevor Bayliss this tournament so far.
David Willey (10/3), Chris Jordan (7/2) and Ben Stokes (4/1) have also provided decent back-up too.
Sri Lanka have much talent despite loss of Malinga
For Sri Lanka, evergreen Tillakaratne Dilshan has hit the highest score so far for them with 83 not out against Afghanistan, and tops the market at 11/4 for his team again.
Thisara Perera, meanwhile, is a very tempting bet to take at 12/1, having hit scores of 49 and 23 (not out) against England before, while he also got the most runs for the Lions against the West Indies with 40.
Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews are also decent chances at 3/1 and 5/1 respectively.
All-rounder Perera has also impressed with the ball, taking 3-33 against Afghanistan, so is again an enticing 5/1 to be best bowler for Sri Lanka again.
Others to look out for are spinners Rangana Herath (10/3 favourite) and Jeffrey Vandersay (7/2).
Coral’s top tip: Root is a brilliant 5/1 to be best England batsman and his team win.