On Saturday, England will lock horns with Sri Lanka in the 39th encounter of the ongoing T20 World Cup in Sydney. The game holds lots of importance in deciding the fate of both England and Australia.
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After a narrow defeat to Ireland, England peaked at the right time in the event, defeating New Zealand by 20 runs in their fourth Super 12 fixture. The openers, Jos Buttler and Alex Hales, finally found their mojo, slamming match-winning fifties. However, their middle order still remains a concern for the Englishmen, as Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone and Ben Stokes are yet to fire in the tournament. They do have Harry Brook and Moeen Ali, but these two batters can, at best, chip in with cameo knocks while they expect the bulk of the runs to be scored by Malan, Stokes and Livingstone.
On the contrary, even though they don’t have a star-studded bowling lineup, the bowlers’ discipline has been imposing. The English bowling unit is yet to concede 160 runs in the tournament, which is commendable, to say the least. Sam Curran has surprised everyone, emerging as England’s best bet at the death, while Mark Wood has troubled the bests in business by hitting the deck at a rollicking pace. Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes have also provided crucial breakthroughs, with Adil Rashid finding it tough to get going in the middle. So, England will be high on confidence after their dominating win against the Kiwis and look to seal the semifinal spot in style when they enter the field on Saturday.
After their shocking defeat to Namibia, Sri Lanka bounced back in a grand fashion and stormed their way through to the Super 12 stage with two comprehensive wins over the UAE and Netherlands. However, they somehow couldn’t replicate the same level of success, as two crushing defeats from Australia and New Zealand saw them pack their bags with one game to go.
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As the Lankan lions are already out of playoff contention, they will focus on expressing themselves fearlessly on Saturday. They certainly possess a formidable batting unit, studded with impactful players like Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka and Kusal Mendis etc. Although they don’t have their first-choice seamers, their spin twins, Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana, are capable enough to dismantle any batting unit on a given day. So, on Saturday, Sri Lanka’s only objective will be to seal a win and sign off with their heads high.
Match: England v Sri Lanka (39th match)
Tournament: ICC T20 World Cup 2022
Venue: SCG, Sydney
Date & Time: 4th November, 1:30 PM IST
England and Sri Lanka have clashed in 13 T20I matches, England have won nine times and Sri Lanka have won on 4 occasions.
The pitch at SCG is slightly slower compared to the other ground in Australia. Although the fast bowlers will get pace and bounce. A total of around 160-170 will be the par score on this pitch. The team who wins the toss will look to have a bowl first as teams chasing have had a good record on this ground.
Probable Playing XIs
England: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha
England will enter this game as favourites and will mostly likely win this game.