Expected Lineups | Match Prediction | England vs Sri Lanka Match Preview:
The last encounter of teams from Group 1 will take place on Saturday between Sri Lanka and England. New Zealand have finally reserved their place in the semi-finals after their Trans-Tasman rivals, Australia, failed to outdistance the English team in NRR. This match between the English and Sri Lankan team will decide who goes on to play the semi-finals and who stays to pack their bags.
Sri Lanka, unfortunately, themselves are out of the tournament following Australia’s victory against Afghanistan. Interestingly, the fate of the second semi-finalist from the first group lies in the Islanders’ hand to some extent. If the Asian champions win against England, then it will be the title defenders, Australia, who will take the seat in the semi-finals. Otherwise, the English team, with their NRR higher than the Aussies, will reach the top-four round.
Buttler-led men had a straight route mapped out for them to reach the semis, which was unexpectedly impeded by the Irish team and rain. After these two unwanted results, the English team, understanding the gravity of the situation, defeated the table toppers New Zealand to revive their hopes and chances. This match against Shanaka’s men will be their final barricade, destroying which will land them in the next round. Failing to do so will cost them their chances of winning the World cup.
HEAD TO HEAD:
Both teams have locked horns with each other on 13 occasions. England’s team has been more successful than the Islanders in these encounters, as they were the winners in 9 out of these 13 matches. The remaining four were bested by the Sri Lankan team.
WEATHER AND PITCH REPORT:
The weather in Sydney on Saturday is predicted to stay rain-free. Although there is a 20% chance of rain, it will not be dangerous enough to curtail or wash out the match. The sky will remain covered with clouds and winds will keep on ruling the Sydney Cricket Ground.
The thing which distinguishes the SCG from most of the other venues down under is the turn it gives to the tweakers particularly after the pitch gets worn out. The spinners love to roll their arm over a pitch like this one, especially during the middle overs.
Apart from that, the pacers are, ofcourse, favoured here as well. The bounce, pace and carry this pitch provides makes the going for the bowling side very easy here, more when the ball is new.
The combination of new ball and the bounce of Sydney’s pitch arms the pacers with a lethal weapon and as seen in the tournament so far, the openers have struggled a great deal against pacers in the initial overs.
The batters get help from the quick outfield as well. The bounce brings the ball smoothly onto the bat which helps the batsmen time the shot perfectly. The square boundaries are shorter and the batters love to target this area.
PLAYING XI (PROBABLE):
Sri Lanka: Kusal Mendis(wk), Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Pramod Madushan, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara.
England: Jos Buttler(c&wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Harry Brooks, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
The Spin department of the Islanders is without any shadow of doubt one of the best in the world. On top of that, the Sydney Cricket Ground’s pitch will favour the spinners very much which is because, apart from its natural spin-assistive characteristic the Sydney’s pitch will be more cracked as well as just a day ago Pakistan and South Africa played here. This gives the Islanders an edge over the English who have been flaunting thus far in the tournament on the shoulders of their pacers.
The English batting lineup is what will cause problems for the Sri Lankans as it is enriched with fiery batters like Dawid Malan, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and sometimes Moeen Ali, who can come in handy to score crucial runs should the top-order collapse early. Apart from that Alex Hales and Jos Buttler were relatively clinical during their last outing as well.
Their batting lineup and hopes that their lead spinners, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, would mess up with the Islanders’ batting order at the SCG’s pitch makes the Buttler-led men favourites for the encounter tomorrow.
WHERE TO WATCH:
TV Broadcast: Sky Sports Cricket, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Mix, Star Sports, Fox Sports 501 & Channel 9 HD, 9GemHD.
PTV Sports and A Sports will broadcast the match on television for viewers in Pakistan.
Digital Broadcast: Sky GO, Sky Sports app, Daraz app, AryZap, Tapmad, kiki app.