Following an emphatic 10 wicket, record breaking win at Edgbaston on Friday, Eoin Morgan’s England take a 1-0 lead into the remainder of this five match series and the hosts have all the momentum at this point. Sunday, sees the tour head to Bristol and there is a big gap in the markets for this tie.
England have been listed as short priced favourites throughout this series and Morgan’s men go off now at 1.28 with Bet365 to make it 2-0. Sri Lanka are at 3.75 with Bet365 again but how can they give you a top return at that figure?
The concern for me is Angelo Mathews who looked far from fit when the sides met on Friday. The Sri Lankan skipper made 44 but was clearly troubled by his hamstring injury and predictably didn’t bowl when England replied. Mathews is such a key player and his virtual absence is a problem.
The tourists did take their hosts to a memorable tie in the opening game and somehow you feel that will be the closest they get to a victory but if Mathews is fitter, they can still upset this market.
We’ll come back to a match verdict shortly but in England’s top batter market, a big century from Alex Hales last time out makes him the new favourite to top score again at 4.00 with Bet365. Elsewhere, it’s been a quiet summer for Joe Root who drifts now to 4.33 with Bet365 while Jason Roy’s ton will make him a tempting pick at 5.00 with Bet365 once again.
Eoin Morgan at 7.00 and Jonny Bairstow at 7.50 with Bet365 are also contenders but having been unable to take his final chance at Edgbaston, I’m backing Root one more time.
Over to Sri Lanka and Angelo Mathews starts things off at 4.33 with Betfair while Dinesh Chandimal has been in decent touch and is listed at 4.50 with Bet365. Those two have been the most consistent batsmen for the tourists but at Edgbaston the profit came from an unlikely source. Upul Tharanga made 53 and he starts here at odds of 7.50 with Bet365.
We did well with some suggestions for the previous game and can continue to take the profits in the same markets. A century in the match is a decent option: England’s batters made two tons and Sri Lanka should improve in the series to threaten this themselves. For Sunday’s tie, you can back this at 2.00 with Bet365.
England to hit the most sixes seemed more of a gamble, considering that Sri Lanka took this comfortably in the first match but at Edgbaston, Hales and Roy recorded ten maximums to the tourists’ three. Once again, I will be backing England to hit the most sixes at 1.61 with Bet365.
Coming back to the result and the main reason why England are so short is the depth of batting in this squad. We saw how the number 10 – Liam Plunkett – smashed six off the last ball at Trent Bridge while Adil Rashid was another capable hitter waiting to come in behind him.
In addition, only Joe Root is really struggling for any form – everyone else is in decent touch. To win it, Sri Lanka probably need to bat first, as they have in the first two games, and take their total way beyond 300.
Some early wickets would then put pressure on an English middle order. They can do it but unless Mathews is 100% fit for this tie, I would wait to back the hosts until later in the series. Overall, it all points to another England victory in Bristol this Sunday.