England won their first away test in 13 matches and their first ever in Galle by beating Sri Lanka by 211 runs. The two teams now move to Kandy for the second test starting on Wednesday 14th
Galle is considered a home banker, with Sri Lanka losing just four of their previous 18 Tests there in the past decade, and England winless in their four prior visits to the picturesque 16th-century fort.
At Galle in England’s favour was winning the toss and overcoming their perennial weakness in the top order to post a competitive total. In 21 of their last 50 innings England have been 100 for 4 or worse and in 2018 their top four batsmen average a collective 28, their bottom five 27.
Fortunately for them England have undeniable strength in the lower middle order. Over the past decade numbers 6, 7 and 8 average 33.
Also in England’s favour was whilst the ball spun the Galle pitch didn’t deteriorate too much and didn’t inconvenience ther batting too much
Looking ahead to Kandy Sri Lanka have problems, Their batting is weak and Captain Chandimal is injured. Leading spinner Herath has now retired and the combination of Ali, Rashid and Leach who took 16 wickets in the match combined and performed well compared to the younger Sri Lankan spinners in Galle suggests that the teams are more even here than was anticipated.
Whilst these of course are unsuitable conditions for England, you have to say they look the more talented team. Sri Lanka feel like they are in disarray. Who do they bring in to turn it around?
Odds for this match are as follows: Sri Lanka 2/1 England 5/4 and the draw 100/30 with Skybet. With the draw unlikely and rightly the outsider of the three options odds against on England looks a good spot for a bet.