Ed Hawkins previews game two from Cardiff on Thursday evening and expects England to dominate...
"If England bat first 190 should be a minimum given their position at the top of the strike rate averages in the last three years"
England v Sri Lanka
Thursday 24 June, 18:30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Easy for England
England barely broke sweat in game one on Wednesday. They won by eight wickets with 17 balls remaining after restricting the visiting team to 127.
A similar level of dominance is expected. A mark of how easy it all was? Adil Rashid didn't bowl until fourth change. And he still managed to pick up two wickets to share top bowler honours with Sam Curran. Chris Woakes, England's experiment with mummification, played his first T20 international for six years.
Will he get another chance? Probably. Mark Wood might have a rest, though. David Willey is an extra pace option in the squad. There was no spot for Moeen Ali with Liam Livingstone being used as finisher who can also bowl spin.
Probable XI Roy, Buttler, Malan, Bairstow, Morgan, Livingstone, S Curran, Jordan, Woakes, Rashid, Wood
Sri Lanka not up to standard
It didn't bode well for Sri Lanka's prospects when, at the toss, their captain Kusal Perera said they were not up to the required standard for this format. At least he was proved right.
But they should be better for the run. This was their first match of the tour and they produced an effort that was the epitome of the phrase 'coming in cold'. For that reason there seems little point changing the XI at all. Let the thaw continue.
There is individual talent in this team but they desperately need to see it up front with their batting. Avishka Fernando has class in the opening slot but recorded a four-ball duck. Danushka Gunathilaka can give it a whack also.
Sri Lanka only managed respectability because of Dasun Shanaka. His 50 from 44 was some cheer. Late cameos are probably their only strength with Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga and Isuru Udana all capable.
Probable XI Gunathilaka, Avishka, Kusal, Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Shanaka, Udana, Hasaranga, Akila, Chameera, Pradeep
The last 10 first-innings scores at Sophia Gardens (1-2 denote match won by side batting first or second) read: 127-2/150-1/144-1/153-2/179-1/188-1/183-1/98-2/140-2/216-1.
From those numbers it is clear that Sri Lanka were way off par. The average from the previous nine was 161. Par on the runs lines if they bat first will probably bet set at over/under 140.5. It's a mark they have failed to bust in eight of their last 15 innings away from home.
If England bat first 190 should be a minimum given their position at the top of the strike rate averages in the last three years. Around 2.255/4 might be available. But there might be chunky numbers available in-play at 200, 210, 220 and 230 or more. A particularly good strategy is to wait for the death overs, the last three say, and expect big runs. The market can underestimate the chance of an onslaught and England could aim for 40-50 off those last 18 balls.
There's a high 25% chance of rain during the scheduled playing time but we would be very surprised if any overs were lost.
Waiting for Sri Lanka to turn up
England are 1.162/13 and Sri Lanka 7.06/1. The latter price is the sort that looks like a solid trade option. But not yet.
Sri Lanka should be in for another hammering here and we're not convinced they can get a foothold in the game whatever they do post-toss. England will just get very, very short very, very quickly and Sri Lanka monstrous. In game three, when they have overs under their belt, the Lankans might be trusted.
Jos Buttler picked up top-bat honours and the man of the match award with 68 from 55. It reinforced the bias towards batsmen on the latter. Wasn't Buttler only able to play with such ease and lack of pressure because of Rashid's two for 17?
No matter, Buttler and opening partner Jason Roy will be fair gambles for match gongs. Either they will get the most opportunity for destruction batting first or they will be able to strike freely in a small chase. Buttler is 11/2 and Roy 7/1 with Sportsbook.
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Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l