After losing to Australia, Sri Lanka need to win this to stand any chance of making the semi-finals. The issue is they take on an England side fresh off hammering Afghanistan, with Eoin Morgan going berserk with a world record 17 sixes in one innings.
What’s more, this is our first visit to Headingly and the hosts have a fantastic record here, winning their last six ODI’s. Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow will be keen to impress their local crowd, but neither tempt at the prices. Fresh off that sensational 148 from 77 balls, the captain looks a little over-priced at 6.00*. Not only will confidence be high, but he has scores of 76, 88*, 107, 11 and 92 in England’s five matches in Leeds since the last World Cup.
It is no surprise that the hosts are red-hot favourites to win this and as a victory would put one foot in the semi-finals, we expect them to field a full-strength XI from those available. That means, pace due Jofra Archer and Mark Wood both starting, and they’ve done much of the damage for England at this World Cup.
The latter has nine wickets, but the Barbados-born Archer has 12, just one off Mohammad Amir and Mitchell Starc. Although Sri Lanka showed some great spirit in their recent run chase against Australia, even notching up the best opening powerplay of the tournament to date with 87-0 in their first 10 overs, it was the fiery bowling of Starc that did for them in the end.
With two washouts and a victory over Afghanistan, the Lions only other completed match saw New Zealand’s pace attack blow them away as they’ve had trouble against the quicks this tournament. Indeed, of the 30 wickets they have lost at this World Cup, 20 have been curtesy of seam bowling, and in Archer, England possess one of the most threatening quick bowlers in the world.
*all odds are subject to change