England v Sri Lanka: Expect another huge England total and one-sided victory

England cricketer Jonny Bairstow
Jonny Bairstow is on home turf at Headingley
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As England march towards the semis in record-breaking fashion, Paul Krishnamurty says they could very realistically get 400 runs against Sri Lanka at Headingley...

"The very high likelihood is that the Man of the Match will be either an England centurion or bowler."

Back Jonny Bairstow for Man of the Match 1u @ 8/1
Back Jofra Archer for Man of the Match 1u @ 9/1

England v Sri Lanka
Friday, 10:30 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket and Sky Sports Main Event

If ever a reminder of how quickly and dramatically cricketing fortunes can turn were needed, think back to the last World Cup in 2015. Sri Lanka beat England by nine wickets with 15 balls to spare, en route to the quarter-finals. Nobody was surprised.

Four years on, England are [1.1] to beat them and even making a speculative case for an upset is difficult.

Formbook firmly points to another England rout

One might argue that the only way is down after Tuesday's multiple record-breaking performance. But why should it? Yes, 397 was the highest ever World Cup score but they've gone higher and didn't start that well either. Their average from four full innings is 357.

In contrast, Sri Lanka haven't made 250 yet - even despite reaching 115 without loss last time. They were hammered by New Zealand and Australia, in line with their warm-up defeats. The win over Afghanistan was only their second in 12 matches - the other came against Scotland.

Betting-wise, this is similar to England's last match. Although Afghanistan have really struggled in the fifty over game, I'm still not convinced they are much behind the Sri Lankans, if at all. There's no point in risking a bet at [1.1] on the hosts but equally, I'm not a layer. Instead let's focus on speciality markets.

400 realistic for England at Headingley

This is Headingley's first fixture, so we can only estimate the runs on past ODIs and county cricket. There were plenty of 300 plus scores over a decade ago, before it was the norm. In May, England beat Pakistan 351 to 297.

In the Royal London One Day Cup, par was well above 350. Yorkshire hit 379 and 308 off 40 overs. From the latter position, this England side could hit 450.

One caveat is that constant rain will have meant a covered pitch, so it could be lively during the first powerplay.

Predicting where the par 1st Innings Runs line opens is not straightforward. If England bat first, my estimate is 350, in which case I will be looking to back the extreme overs bands - 380 plus at around [3.75], 400 plus at [7.0].

However in Sri Lanka's par line may be as low as 240. That is a respectable score by recent standards but not much of a huge ask at this ground. If they bat first, I'd be inclined to back them to breach that 250 mark at [2.2] or better.

I don't like to put up very short odds-on bets, so will leave this out of the recommended bets and stats, but 4/9 about England to score Most Sixes looks a genuine banker. Sri Lanka have managed just eight in three matches. England have 47 from five.

Bairstow to star on home turf

Despite averaging 92 and sitting second in the tournament runscorer list, Joe Root isn't favourite to top-score for England. That honour goes to Jonny Bairstow at 13/5, who plays his country cricket for Yorkshire at Headingley.

However I'd rather take 8/1 that Bairstow wins Man of the Match. The very high likelihood is this will be won by either an England centurion or bowler. With 12 wickets from five, Jofra Archer is very much best among the latter and gets the nod at 9/1.

De Silva could surprise from middle order

Only two Sri Lankan batsmen have made any sort of impact to date. Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera have contributed around two thirds of all runs. They rightly share favouritism to top-score at 7/2 but this isn't a line-up in which to trust the favourites.

Sri Lanka are often bowled out very cheaply, making this market winnable with a score around 30. One all-rounder well capable of hanging around is Dhananjaya de Silva, who bats at eight or sometimes seven. 25/1 very much appeals.


Follow Paul on Twitter @paulmotty

World Cup Profit/Loss

-8.5 units

Paul Krishnamurty,

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