England v Sri Lanka – 4th ODI at 13:00 live on Sky Sports 2

The Scene

A dramatic tie, a record breaking ten-wicket win for England and a washed out damp squib – Sri Lanka have at least competed in the three ODI matches played to date, but the bare fact is Angelo Matthews men have still only beaten Associate nation Ireland on their tour of the UK, which started back on May 8th – simply not good enough. With just two ODI’s and one T20I left to play, time is running out for the tourists to register a win against the hosts and a win here at The Oval would be most welcome.

Conditions

Get those D/L sheets at the ready as there is a 60% chance of rain coming in by 7pm. Whilst this shouldn’t impact on the first innings runs market, it’s looking like the chasing side could have the advantage of a reduced overs run chase.

The Venue

These sides met here in 2014 during another rain impacted ODI which saw England bat first. In 39 overs the home side accumulated 247/6 which was enough to win out comfortably. We’ve ignored that fixture, so here’s a list of the last 6 completed first innings scores in ODI’s at The Oval going back to 2013 –

398, 175, 253, 293, 233, 170– Average 253

First Innings Runs

England have batted first in 11 of 22 ODI’s played since the 2015 Cricket World Cup –

236, 262, 318, 399, 355, 283, 216, 138, 300, 302, 408 – Average 292

Sri Lanka have batted first in 10 of 17 ODI’s played in the same time period –

248, 254, 286, 377, 303, 117, 188, 368, 256, 255 – Average 265

Teams

Alex Hales and Jason Roy are just starting to blossom as England’s opening pair. Boosted by the unbeaten 256* they shared in the ten-wicket walloping at Edgbaston in the 2nd ODI, the dynamic pair have now shared 976 runs together at an average of 46.5. Joe Root has barely been needed, but his form is a slight concern with international scores this summer of 11*, 2, 5*, 3, 4, 80, 0. Eoin Morgan’s 43 in game one was his best in 9 innings. There are no worries about Jonny Bairstow or Jos Buttler – the later looked to be at his belligerent best in the Trent Bridge tie with 93 off 99 – whilst Chris Woakes continues to grow as an international cricketer. His 95* in that tie has been coupled alongside 5 wickets at 25 apiece and an economy rate of 4.5. Plunkett (below) has led the seam attack alongside David Willey who has chipped in with 4 wickets. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid hasn’t taken the scalps he’d have hoped for, but an economy rate of 4.3 is outstanding given he’s bowled predominantly at class-acts Mathews and Chandimal.

Angelo Mathews cannot be criticised for not leading from the front. 173 series runs in his 3 knocks to date sees him top the run scoring charts as the Sri Lankan skipper becomes more adept by the day at rebuilding an innings. Wicket-keeper bat and number four Dinish Chandimal has supported ably with 151 runs at an average a smidgen over 50. Kusal Mendis also has a half-century to his name and Upul Tharanga’s 96 series runs have come at a SR of 111. Throw in middle-order swashbuckler Seekkuge Prasanna and his 59 runs from 39 balls faced and its clear Sri Lanka don’t have major issues with the willow. The problem has been taking wickets. Without the likes of Lasith Malinga, Shaminda Eranga, Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera, the tourists have been next to impotent with the ball. That they had England 82-6 defending 286 in that opening tied game spoke volumes – it’s hard to see Sri Lanka taking ten wickets and chasing a score might be the only way they can win.

Ones to Watch

Liam Plunkett has finally passed 50 ODI career wickets – it’s been a long old waiting given he made his England debut back in Lahore in 2005 – playing alongside teammates of a bygone era including Ian Blackwell, Geraint Jones and Vikram Solanki. 7 of those 52 wickets have been taken during these 3 matches, including best figures of 3/46 during Sunday’s Bristol washout.

With the vast array of fast and medium pace bowlers currently out of the side, Suranga Lakmal finds himself very much the leader of the Sri Lanka attack. 66 wickets in 46 ODI’s at an average of 28.9 apiece deserves recognition bearing in mind his economy rate is 5.5 per over. His 3 wickets in the series to date is the best of any of the tourists and he will be key if they have any chance of registering a victory over the hosts.

Runs Markets

If England bat first, I recommend taking any OVERS RUNS around the 293-296 mark.

If Sri Lanka bat first, I recommend taking any UNDER RUNS around the 265-268 mark.

Top Batsman Market

England skipper Morgan averages of 55 at The Oval and can be backed at 8.0 but quite simply there is no reason not to back one of the in-form England openers. Let us take a punt on Jason Roy top scoring on his home ground at 4.0

Why not back Seekkuge Prasanna to top score for Sri Lanka at a high of 21.0 – after all, his cameo 28-ball 59 in the 1st ODI was only just bettered by his captains 73. Face forty balls and we could have a huge priced winner.

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @herefordrich.

Eastbridge now fully licensed in the UK!

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