Rain could damped England runs charge

England v Sri Lanka
Sunday 4 July 11.00
TV: Live on Sky Sports

England changes

England wrapped up the series with a game to spare following another easy victory. They chased down 242 with eight wickets and seven overs to spare. It gives them the opportunity to experiment in the dead rubber.

Captain Eopin Morgan said there would be a change up. “We’ll probably make some more changes in Bristol with an eye on the Pakistan series. We’re lucky to have new faces available and give people a chance. We are always looking to grow and get better.” So what could a reshuffle look like?

Well, George Garton and Lim Dawson have yet to feature so it would be a surprise if both didn’t get a game. Somerset opener Tom Banton was called up after an injury to Dawid Malan, meaning Jonny Bairstow might be rested.

Chris Woakes, who can’t play consecutive games for some reason, could come back. Or he could be wrapped in cotton wool again. Mark Wood seems an unlikely starter. Sam Curran, with five wickets at The Oval, may be saved for later. Liam Livingstone could come back.

Possible XI Banton, Roy, Livingstone, Root, Morgan, Billings, Moeen, L Dawson, Willey, T Curran, Garton

Sri Lanka fight

Sri Lanka did okay to post 241 after another disastrous start from the top order. They found themselves at 21 for four in the seventh over.

Of course they know that the game is up from ball one. Their challenge is to be competitive. And they threatened to be so when Dhananjaya de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga, two quality players, got together. They put on 65 for the fifth wicket. Dhananjaya went on and was unfortunate not to notch a century.

It means Sri Lanka’s batting is in a far healthier state than at the start of the series. Avishka Fernando is fit again and, like Dhananjaya and Wanindu, he is worthy of the top level. Sri Lanka could also make changes in the bowling department. We’ve not seen Isuru Udana yet, which suggests he is injured, so they could turn to a spin-heavy attack with Akila Dananjaya and Lakshan Sandakan possible switches.

Possible XI Nissanka, K Perera, Avishka, Dhananjaya, Shanaka, Hasaranga, Asalanka, Karunaratne, B Fernando, Chameera, A Dhananjaya

Pitch report

There have only been seven ODI played at Bristol in the last ten years. We are wary of such a slim study period of matches over a long timeline. Even so, Sri Lanka’s 248 for nine in 2016 could be constructive. They’d probably take it now if it was offered.

In the World Cup summer there were two matches. Pakistan posted 358 in a series against England that preceded the showpiece – and lost. Afghanistan managed only 207 against Australia, losing by seven wickets with more than 15 overs left.

Those matches suggest the pitch is flat and true. The boundaries are also often short at the venue although it’s hard to see from the naked eye on television because it’s a small playing area. In the four RL one-day matches domestically in 2019, batters were utterly dominant in two games.

The first-innings runs market is key for us in a mismatch. As we have said before, we’re looking to take on Sri Lanka when they settle on a partnership. Shorting runs after a 50-run effort in the top five is solid. But we are keen for England to bat first. Backing them for 325 or more at even money on the runs line could be the way to go. It’s well within their zone considering ability and data.

The issue is the weather forecast. Showers are expected throughout the day and although that could change, it may be safer to stick to that Sri Lanka short. We might get the chance to go under 225.

Weather could help tourists

England are 1.111/9 for the sweep. Sri Lanka are in to 10.09/1 from 11.010/1. They had been 8.6015/2 for game one. The tourists have probably shortened because of England team news or the market may not be quite mature enough.

If we could get the same price about Sri Lanka as they were for The Oval, we might have a cheeky trade. But Sri Lanka would have to bat first so scoreboard pressure could be applied. If England bat first we expect the home price to disappear out of sight. With the possibility of overs lost, Lanka may get a foothold and it could be a soppy shoot-out.

Tops value

Bairstow took the man of the match in that game against Pakistan we mentioned. He smashed 128 from 93 balls. It would be a shame if Bairstow missed out due to a rotation policy because he looks like he is tuning up for something decent. He is 11/4 for top-bat honours. Banton is 10/3./ A price? Well to rational minds yes but there;’s no guarantee he will open. England are prone to batting him out of position. Joe Root is also 11/4. Jason Roy gets a quote of 5/2.

How to bet on mismatches. This week on Cricket…Only Bettor

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