Sri Lanka v England Fifth ODI Betting: Rain to have the final say again

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England have won the series and with a dead robber in Colombo to finish on Tuesday, Ed Hawkins looks at the best possible bets...

"Thunderstorms are due to hit at 1pm local time so we could be looking at overs being reduced instead of one team batting, getting the full quota and then D-L getting involved"

Sri Lanka v England
Tuesday October 23 10.00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Shanaka shows worth

Sri Lanka should have posted 300-plus in game four. But it probably wouldn't have been enough to down a supreme England chasing outfit. Although they will question where they go from here they can at least say they made it competitive. That's progress.

With such an awful sequence of results behind them, the challenge is to put together back-to-back performances that make things tight. They may be best served to do that if they return Upul Tharanga to the opening position. Sadeera Samarawickrama looked short of international class on Saturday with a seven-ball one.

There were bright spots, though. Dasun Shanaka showed he is an all-rounder of promise with a top-bat effort of 66 from 66 balls. Likewise Akila Dananjaya, whose late hitting gave them a sniff.

Plunkett to return?

England have been more concerned about the strength of Jonny Bairstow's ankle than the strength of Sri Lanka's challenge. The opener was playing football and went over on it, potentially putting his participation in doubt for the Test series which follows.

In his place, Alex Hales opened with Jason Roy. A return to the original blaster partnership which did so much to change the fortunes and form of the England ODI team. Hales failed, though, perhaps highlighting why he was axed.

There could be changes considering the series is won. Liam Plunkett, for example, should get a game having missed the first three due to his wedding. Olly Stone's fast start to his career has slowed and he's beginning to look expensive.

No recent toss bias

There have been 100 day-night matches at the Premadasa, Colombo. From the 92 that have produced results, 56 have been won by the side fielding first. That's a noticeable toss bias. In the last five years, however, it's a 6-5 split across 11 matches. The first-innings scores in the last five games read: 299-238-375-288-227.

Shanaka shows worth

England are [1.34] with Sri Lanka [3.9]. No surprises there given that's what the odds were before England's rain-affected stroll last time out.

The next check has to be the weather, then. Thunderstorms are due to hit at 1pm local time so we could be looking at overs being reduced instead of one team batting, getting the full quota and then D-L getting involved.

As we have said previously, England are no way near [1.34] shots in, say, a 20-over match and they would have to be taken on. For extra security, though, we'd probably keep the toss on our side. We wouldn't want to take them on in a chase.

For in-running bettors, there has been a spot of value. England hit [1.64] in game four after Jason Roy was out. But fingers have to be fast as it doesn't last long.

Chandimal has decent record

For Kandy we talked up Shanaka at 7s because we reckoned he wouldn't have to bat long to oblige. He managed it. Sportsbook now go 15/2. Dinesh Chandimal has a good record at the venue in the last five years, taking 236 runs from six appearances. But the 10/3 that gives him jolly status makes little appeal considering he started the series as big as 4s.

Hales a big price

If it is a T20 match then it might not be smart to look past the front three in the England batting line-up. Roy, who took honours last time, is 16/5. Hales is surprisingly big at 7/2. Root, still waiting to top score despite all the numbers suggesting he was value, is 11/4.

Ed Hawkins P-L

2018: +11.83pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
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. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l

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