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ICC World Cup 2019: Match 27, England vs Sri Lanka, Preview – Can the Islanders escape the English wrath?

Pleasant weather prepares to greet these two sides in Leeds.

Sri Lanka players
Sri Lanka players. (Photo by Harry Trump-IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Both England and Sri Lanka had contrasting fortunes in the previous World Cup. The Asian side was performing fairly recently before South Africa humiliated them in the Quarterfinals whilst England got hammered in the group stages and didn’t make it to the top eight. All of that is in the past, four years can change a lot and both sides stand as tremendous examples.

Eoin Morgan just raised the Birmingham roof with a stellar performance against Afghanistan and their bowlers too did a decent job to help the Three Lions register another big win. The great Lankan struggle for form goes a long way back and it doesn’t seem to end anywhere in the near future.

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We could call it a no-contest simply going by their recent form and one-on-one comparison. Sri Lanka got hammered at the hands of Australia previously and this time the challenge won’t get any easier. Pleasant weather prepares to greet these two sides in Leeds and it’ll be interesting to see if the Lankans invest on their spinners for this crucial encounter.

Playing Combinations

England

Which captain would really want to tinker with such a sensational line-up? Adil Rashid is very unlikely to make way for someone else, but Morgan will consider Liam Plunkett coming in place of the leg-spinner. In Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes they have three very productive all-rounders, who add great strength to the side instantly. James Vince will continue to open in Jason Roy’s absence.

Predicted XI

James Vince, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid/Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood.

Sri Lanka

Suranga Lakmal is expected to come in place of Milinda Siriwardana for Karunaratne’s men. The likes of Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis and Lahiru Thirimanne are yet to score anything considerable this tournament and as long as that doesn’t change, their fate is likely to remain the same. Thisara Perera too has been underperforming, much to the disappointment of the Lankan fans.

Predicted XI

Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana/Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep

Focus will be on

Jofra Archer (England)

Adding to Sri Lanka’s struggles will be Jofra Archer‘s form, who is in devastating touch right now. The speedster is hitting the perfect channels almost every game and is relishing bowling against the Asian sides apart from the odd bad game against Pakistan. He is in the zone where confidence levels are very high and morale is just good enough to make him push an extra yard every game, which isn’t a good sign for the 1996 champions.

Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)

No captain coming into this tournament had less than 500 ODI runs apart from Dimuth Karunaratne. There were so many doubts over his selection, but he managed to swim against the tide and churned out a couple of very good scores. His solid batting technique is helping him survive despite not playing an ODI for over four years. He missed out a century last game and will be desperate to get there in this match.

Head to head

Matches played – 74 | England won – 36 | Sri Lanka won – 35 | Tied – 1 | No result – 2

Stat Attack

2 – England and Sri Lanka are the only teams in World Cup history to lose two consecutive World Cup finals (England in 1987 and 1992, Sri Lanka in 2007 and 2011).

Broadcast Details

TV – Star Sports

Live Streaming– Hotstar

Match Timings – 15:00 IST; 10:30 local

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