England have a tough task against Sri Lankans

England have a tough task against Sri Lankans

Their campaign opener against New Zealand spoilt by rain, 2010 champions England face a difficult task of taming table-toppers Sri Lanka to keep their semifinal hopes alive in the ICC World Twenty20 on Thursday.

England were left ruing the weather after their effort of posting 172/6 went in vain and they lost by nine runs to New Zealand via the Duckworth-Lewis method last Saturday.In fact, England players were left disappointed following the umpires’ decision to keep the teams on the field even though lightning and thunder claps had started early in the fifth over during New Zealand’s run chase at the ZACS Stadium.

After the match, skipper Stuart Broad minced no words and his criticism of the umpires’ decision prompted the ICC to fine 15 per cent of his match fee.

However, all these are in the past now and England will have to put the disappointment behind and focus on a strategy to outwit Sri Lanka, who have been simply unstoppable in the tournament so far.

Dinesh Chandimal’s men notched up convincing victories against the Netherlands and South Africa in their last two matches to sit at the top of the table with four points and they would look for an encore against England.

England though have reasons to feel confident as most of their top and middle-order batsmen clicked in the last match with Moeen Ali and Michael Lumb sharing a 72-run stand for the second wicket and Jos Buttler and Ravi Bopara too chipping in with cameos to power the team. However, their bowling has not been tested as they had only five overs against New Zealand. 

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have no such concerns. Medium pacer Angelo Mathews and spinner Ajanta Mendis have taken four wickets each, while Lasith Malinga has three scalps to his name in the tournament so far. Chandimal will expect his bowlers to continue their good show as they eye another victory.

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