England went 1-0 up in the series with a rain affected victory in Dambulla on Saturday. The third match of the series is in Pallekele on Wednesday.
Chris Woakes razed Sri Lanka’s top order after Eoin Morgan hit 92 as England won the second ODI in Dambulla by 31 runs on DLS.
Woakes struck three times inside his first five overs and the rapid Olly Stone bagged his maiden wicket in international cricket as Sri Lanka tumbled to 31-4 in pursuit of England’s 278-9, in which Morgan top-scored, Joe Root notched 71 and Lasith Malinga claimed 5-44 his best ODI figures since 2011. A magician with a slower ball
The hosts showed some middle-order resolve but they were 140-5 after 29 overs when the rain caused a match-ending stoppage, way off the DLS target of 171, meaning Morgan’s men took a 1-0 lead in the five-game series following Wednesday’s washout at the same venue.
Sri Lanka’s batting was their major issue at the recent Asia Cup and here they showed no sign of easing.
Thirty-five for four represented their worst ever start to a one-day international innings against England on home soil but it is worringly familiar for those who regularly watch the team.
At the Asia Cup, Sri Lanka were 38 for four against Bangladesh and 88 for four against Afghanistan. From these positions, chances of success are always going to be slim.
And, unsurprisingly, that has turned out to be the case. Sri Lanka’s two successful chases in ODIs in 2018 have come when their targets were below 200.
England are once again 1/2 to win here and there is better value in the sub-markets. At 7/2 top England batsman Joe Root is of interest.
113*, 100*, 25*, 71 are his latest scores in ODIs
Joe Root’s unbeaten streak at the crease surpassed the previous England record for most runs between dismissals in ODIs, beating Graeme Hick’s 301 set in 1999.
By the time Root was finally out in Dambulla, caught at extra cover off the bowling of Dhananjaya de Silva, he had accumulated 309.
It should come as little surprise that the Yorkshireman took naturally to conditions in Dambulla. Over the course of his career, Root has always scored well in Sri Lanka.His average in 50-over cricket in the country is all of 77.16, compared to his career equivalent of 52.08 and 48 in England. And it’s not from a meagre sample pool, either. Root has amassed 463 runs in nine knocks.