The ICC Cricket World Cup hosts are back in action this weekend when England take on Sri Lanka at Emerald Headingly, Leeds on Friday afternoon. The match gets underway at 10.30am GMT and will be shown in its entirety on Sky Sports. There’s a real buzz about the team as we get into the thick of the tournament and everyone involved will be keen to build on that. Here are our top England v Sri Lanka betting tips.
It hasn’t been the perfect World Cup some fans may have been hoping for and this England side have picked up their bumps and bruises along the way, even suffering a surprise defeat. They have held their nerve in the face of incredible pressure, however, and rallied to put in a few thoroughly impressive performances. England are looking like a team determined to go far this summer and make history by winning their first World Cup.
Morgan Surprised Himself
The confidence that exists in this team was never more obvious than when England smashed Afghanistan from pillar to post on Tuesday afternoon, wracking up a stunning 150-run victory. The level of opposition may mean that win doesn’t get the credit it deserves but we have seen Afghanistan give a few sides a difficult workout already, but they were unable to land a glove on a team who were firing on all cylinders. The scoreboard read 397-6 against 247-8 and it was an enjoyable round of cricket.
One man who made headlines for his performance that day was Eoin Morgan who stunned onlooker by smashing 148 runs off just 71 balls and that left supporters in awe. That haul included a record q7 sixes and it’s an innings that will live long in the memory, not just for the player who appears to be really enjoying his cricket at the minute. There’s no doubt England would’ve won the match without Morgan’s score but it’s an example of just how well the team are playing at the minute. What will worry their opponents going forward is there looks plenty more to come.
Speaking to the sporting press at the end of that thumping win over Afghanistan on Tuesday, Morgan seemed a little surprised himself, saying never in his wildest dreams had he imagined he would score an innings like the one achieved that day. Joking about his age and recurring injuries, he added he never thought he was still capable of doing so much running. Morgan has been a fine servant to English cricket over the years, both in good time and bad, so there won’t be many who would grudge him that success.
England’s Form Has Been Impressive
England began their World Cup with a win over South Africa in the opening match of the competition when getting off the mark with an impressive 104-run victory, sending out a message of intent to their rivals. They were then beaten by Pakistan in game two, a shock result that wasn’t in the script and threatened to derail the campaign almost before it had begun. Losing by 14 runs to a rival didn’t do the confidence of fans any good but the players were professional enough to see it for what it was – a speedbump.
They rallied to beat Bangladesh by 106 runs to get back on track and then had to roll up their sleeves to battle past West Indies when nicking an eight wickets win on 14 June. With their World Cup now at a crossroads, England scored a massive win earlier this week when smashing Afghanistan. That fixture came at exactly the right time for the squad, gifting them the momentum needed to go forward with purpose, adding confidence to the ranks and helping win over fans who had remained on the fence until the team gave them something concrete to get excited about.
They can now complete what would rate as a crucial week with a win over Sri Lanka on Friday, but we shouldn’t take anything for granted here. Yes, England are flying at the moment and they are a better team on paper than their opponents, but Sri Lanka are just the kind of side that would love to stick a pin in the ambitions of their opponents. The underdogs have nothing to lose on Friday. Bookmakers are happy to go with a home win and backers looking to get their cash down on England will have to make do with the 1/10 (888Sport).
Sri Lanka Have Had No Luck
Sri Lanka were beaten by Australia last Saturday when ending on the wrong side of an 87-run result. The scoreboard that day read 334-7 against 247 all out and it was a resounding victory for a defending champion who still have much to prove this year. Sri Lanka were expected to lose going into the match and they lived up to expectations, never really threatening an upset. The team must dust themselves down, make the most of the break and come back stronger. There’s no time to get hung up on past results at this stage of the competition.
Sri Lanka did beat Afghanistan by 34 runs on 4 June, but their campaign has been ruined by the weather since with two matches rained off, both without a ball being bowled. They were pulled out of an intended contest with Pakistan on 7 June and followed that with the cancellation of a tie vs Bangladesh a few days later. In terms of good fortune at this World Cup, Sri Lanka have every right to feel they have been short-changed.
It’s no surprise to see they have been written off by the bookmakers and backers who want to take a shot at upset of the competition so far will find a staggering 8/1 at Ladbrokes about a Sri Lanka win. That’s big enough to ensure it will be nibbled at by the value hunters, but there’s not enough there to entice us into a play. We’ll take Joffra Archer to be top England bowler at 5/2 (Bet365).