Ed Hawkins retains faith in Sri Lanka and insists the two sides should be closer in the betting for game two in Chester-le-Street on Sunday...
"It would be a dereliction of duty not to recommend Sri Lanka at 2.1411/10."
Sri Lanka at 2.1411/10
England v Sri Lanka
TV: live on Sky Sports
Stop press. England win a game. For only the seventh time since September 2013, they tasted victory. It was sweet at The Oval, too. Beating a powerful Sri Lanka side by 81 runs was impressive. But not as impressive as the performances of two young tyros, Chris Jordan and Harry Gurney. Make no mistake, England have unearthed a couple of gems there. Jordan's blitz with the bat - 38 from 13 balls - was crucial and his three wickets sealed the deal. Gurney was mean and dangerous with two for 20 off five overs. Gary Ballance and Joe Root also showed good form with the bat.
Sri Lanka are also dealing with an unfamiliar feeling. The defeat in south London was only their second in 21 matches in all competitions. It was an odd one because they never got going with either bat or ball. And yet at 193 for six they let England off the hook by failing to control Jordan. When they chased, frankly, they never looked like getting over the line and not one of their top five managed a strike rate of more than 100. It was a lacklustre display. Chester-le-Street will be a greater challenge than The Oval because the wicket will be more seamer-friendly surface. It would be a major surprise if they picked a second spinner. If they do, that will be a sign that the camp is not thinking straight.
There have been 13 completed first-innings in 11 matches which have produced results at the venue. The average score is 233. The average score batting second is 175. With rain in recent days in the north east it would be a surprise if there was not moisture in the air and rising from the ground. When the water table is high at this ground, there is often swing movement for the bowlers. So it would not be advisable to get long of 250 or more. Indeed, with rain likely to interrupt proceedings it could be a wise move to under 250. Be aware that a truncated innings impacts a batsman's concentration and runs can be harder to come by.
England's favouritism for The Oval did not make any sense before a ball was bowled. Despite their victory it still doesn't make much sense. Just remember those recent records of the two teams. We will accede some ground to the hosts for this one because if the ball does bend for the bowlers, they will have an advantage. But the 1.814/5 available is another horror show. It would be a dereliction of duty not to recommend Sri Lanka at 2.1411/10.
Ian Bell top scored for England on this ground in the previous ODI. He hit an unbeaten 69 in a win over the Australians. Bell has more runs than any other England player and averages 64. He is 4.57/2. Alastair Cook, who is the same price, has an average of 16.50 from only two games but he does average 45 there in List A. He looked rusty at The Oval, as did Eoin Morgan, so Ballance and Root might be better picks than those two at 5.59/2 and 6.05/1 respectively.
Sri Lanka have played once at the Riverside and cruised to an eight-wicket. Thanks in no small part to Mahela Jayawardene's 126 not out. It remains the highest score in an ODI at the ground. Kumar Sangakkara, who got a half-century that day, will also feel at home. He has been playing county cricket for Durham in preparation for this series. The pair are 4.77/2 and 4.03/1 respectively. Tillakaratne Dilshan is also 4.77/2.
Sri Lanka at 2.1411/10