England can count themselves very fortunate to have made it this far in the tournament. Losses against Ireland and Bangladesh and a near-loss against West Indies, shows exactly the type of form they are in. Sri Lanka are quite the opposite. They have been comprehensive throughout the tournament except for one blemish against Pakistan. The last quarter-final of the tournament has plenty to offer.
Most runs scored
England has relied on their top order for the entire tournament and their top order is the only part of their batting which seems to be able to get runs, at the moment. Strauss, Trott and Bell are the key players. Eoin Morgan has also made a huge difference to the team after cementing himself at number 5. His inclusion boosts England as does the inclusion of Luke Wright.
Sri Lanka have been clinical in their batting. But they too have depended very heavily on their top order and their batting after Jayawardene hasn’t really been tested so far. Tharanga and Dilshan have made merry against the weaker line-ups but they will be up for a test against England’s bowling. Sangakkara has been just awesome. He has looked good in every match. Jayawerdene has looked just about okay. He hasn’t got too many runs after his century against Canada, but he spent some time in the middle in his last innings and looks good to go. The rest of that batting is a big gaping hole and nothing much can be said other than the fact that they bat deep and a few cameos are in order.
Available odds: Sangakkara @ 3.75; Dilshan @ 4.50; Tharanga @ 5.00; Jayawerdene @ 5.50; Strauss/Trott @ 4.50; Bell @ 5.50; Prior/Morgan @ 6.00
that_guy’s picks: Sangakkara @ 3.75; Bell @ 5.50
England looked impressive with their new bowling attack against the West Indies- certainly better than they ever did in the earlier stages. Bresnan has been their best bowler so far and he will have the role of removing Dilshan and Tharanga early along with Tremlett. Tredwell was a brilliant inclusion to the English team and he complements Swann perfectly. They will have a big role to play in those middle overs along with Wright and Bopara.
Sri Lanka’s bowling looks rigid. There’s nothing much getting past that bowling attack in this tournament, so far. Malinga has looked off-coulour in the previous few matches but he’s a big-game player and the occasion will make him a different bowler altogether. The second pacer slot is still an inconsistent one for them with Perera, Kulasekara and Mathews all playing that role at some point or the other. It will be interesting to watch who gets the nod against England. As interesting as seeing which of the 3 spinners will play, if not all. All in all, it will be spin bowling that will make a difference in this match and Sri Lanka are heavily armed in that department.
Available odds: Malinga @ 3.00; Muralitharan @ 4.50; Mendis/Kulasekara/Herath @ 5.50; Swann @ 3.00; Bresnan/Tremlett @ 4.50; Tredwell @ 5.50
that_guy’s picks: Muralitharan @ 4.50; Bresnan @ 4.50
All parameters are heavily loaded against England. They have no significant efforts to show for so far and the conditions, spin and crowd might just not spare them this time round. Sri Lanka.
Available odds: Sri Lanka @ 1.53; England @ 2.50
that_guy’s pick: Sri Lanka @ 1.53
[All odds taken from 888sport]