Can England beat the Twenty20 world champions at The Oval?
Sri Lanka kick off their tour of England, that will see them play five ODI matches and two tests as well as today’s singular Twenty20 match, at The Oval this evening in a meeting of the two sides that won the World Twenty20 championship and the only side to defeat them in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka scorched to victory at the start of April at the tournament and, despite securing victory against the eventual champions, England’s loss to the Netherlands in the group stage saw them crash out in disgrace.
The last two months have seen big changes for England, with Paul Farbrace moving from Sri Lanka to take over the limited overs side, and after a ODI win over Scotland to their name in their only match following the World T20 competition they will be confident of a second straight win over Sri Lanka today.
England Victory – 1.74
Sri Lanka Victory – 1.92
(All odds provided by GR88.com are accurate as of today and subject to change)
England are certainly a side capable of winning this match following their outstanding performance against the Sri Lankan side in Bangladesh that saw them set 190 runs from 20 overs to win. They overcame the long odds going into bat to secure their biggest run chase in Twenty20 history thanks to Alex Hales and today’s England captain Eoin Morgan. Hales became the first ever Englishman to secure a T20 century with 116 and Morgan added another 57 runs to the total as England took victory – their only win in Bangladesh – with four balls to spare.
However, losses to South Africa and the Netherlands, who are not exactly a top cricket nation, saw England return home with their tails between their legs. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, went from strength to strength with 59 run win over New Zealand before eliminating the West Indies at the semi-final stage and then beating India, the top ranked Twenty20 side in the world, by six wickets to claim victory.
They have since lost Paul Farbrace to their hosts in this Twenty20 clash at The Oval tonight, but they have still looked impressive as they played their way around the UK and Ireland since the start of May. They have been scheduled for five matches and although one was washed out against Ireland four of these were ODIs. Their only T20 warm up came against Sussex at Hove on Sunday and after being set 127 to win the match they breezed by the total after just nine overs and a single ball without the loss of a wicket as Kithuruwan Vithanage and Tillakaratne Dilshan scored 52 and 73 respectively to secure victory before the halfway stage of the match.
Despite being the outsiders to win this match Sri Lanka have won both T20 clashes while on tour in England and with their loss to the English in Bangladesh as well as their poaching of coach Farbrace, they will be highly motivated to win at The Oval this evening. I feel that such a difficult match for England has come too soon into the new regime and that they are undeserving of being the favourites. Sri Lanka offer the better value and I am backing the guests to secure victory this evening.
Back Sri Lanka to defeat England in this Twenty20 match at The Oval @ 1.92 with GR88.com.