Sri Lanka have been very much second best for most of this three match series and the tourists head to Lord’s with the overall contest already lost. England remain favourites to make it a 3-0 whitewash but conditions in London may just be more favourable to the visitors.
Match Odds & Game Preview
The theory that Sri Lanka may be more competitive in a warmer London venue isn’t one that is backed up by the bookies who list Angelo Mathews’ men as 13.00 outsiders with Bet365. It’s likely that the ball won’t seam around as much as it did in Leeds and in Durham, but the famous Lord’s slope will still favour England’s quicks.
England will be at full strength although there are concerns over Steven Finn’s form but while Jake Ball waits for his chance, this is the Middlesex man’s home ground and he seems more likely to be retained. Meanwhile, the opening pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad are the key bowlers and if they hit their rhythm then it’s going to go with England as 1.30 favourites with Bet365.
It’s worth looking at the weather forecast and if it is accurate, we could lose plenty of time to rain. If Sri Lanka can battle as they did at Durham where they made 475 on second innings then they could force a draw if there are weather issues. A drawn game can be backed at 4.75 with Bet365 once again.
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Top Batsmen Betting Picks
We’ve not seen the best of Joe Root in this series and I feel that England’s best batter in last year’s Ashes Series will deliver this time at 3.75 with Bet365. Root is rarely out of form for long and although I would have liked to see that price lengthen following a quiet summer, this is the stage for a big contribution.
Elsewhere, Alastair Cook is listed at 4.50 with Bet365 while Alex Hales, who has made good first innings scores as Cook’s opening partner, starts at 5.50 with Betfair.
England’s profits in the first two games have come from number seven and you can’t rule out Jonny Bairstow at 6.50 or Moeen Ali at 17.00 – both with Bet365 – but it’s time for Root to underline his class.
For Sri Lanka, we saw an impressive fightback in the second test and a century from the talented Dinesh Chandimal who now becomes joint favourite at 4.50 with Bet365. Angelo Mathews shares that 4.50 with Bet365 while Kusal Mendis looks particularly good value at 6.00 with Betfair.
At the risk of sounding obvious, I’m going for another favourite here and another man who is overdue in terms of a major score. Angelo Mathews is my best pick in the top batsman betting.
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Other Betting Tips
England’s top bowler market looks to be an interesting one and with question marks over Steve Finn we’ll be waiting on selection but it’s one where Broad and Anderson share the favourite’s berth at 3.50 with Bet365.
As this game is at Lord’s, we feel that Finn will keep his place and selectors seem to be loyal to their players. On his home track, Finn to return best first innings figures for England looks a decent option at 5.00 with Betfair.
I’m not sure that the result is an obvious one this time: Sri Lanka’s batsmen are better than this series has suggested and their performance in the second innings at Durham underlined that. Also, if you believe that weather forecast then a lot of time could be lost over five days.
Betting Tip: The draw looks tempting but the issue is in the bowling and I don’t think the tourists can take 20 English wickets cheaply enough to force the win. If rain stays away, it’s going to be another England victory.
In the News
 theguardian.com, England v Sri Lanka: third Test, day two – as it happened, 2016