Sri Lanka v England Second ODI Betting: Tourists struggling to turn the tables

England came up short at the RPS in game one
England came up short at the RPS in game one

Ed Hawkins was impressed with the tourists' fight in game one but says the home side should make their class pay again in Colombo early on Saturday morning...

"England have come up short so many times before in this part of the world in the turn department and we have seen nothing that means it will suddenly change."

Back Sri Lanka @ 1.625/8

Sri Lanka v England
Start time: 04.30GMT
TV: live on Sky Sports 2

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka returned to more powerful form in game one following their humiliation in India. It was a Sri Lanka we were used to. Tillakaratne Dilshan's 88 from 98 balls was a fillip for a player who has looked out of sorts, Mahela Jayawardene was Mr Reliable and there was a late-order flurry from an all-rounder - Jeevan Mendis - to set an imposing total. Then the spinners took over. 

Whether the hosts change a winning side remains to be seen but the pacer Shaminda Eranga could be in with a shout. Dhamika Prasad only bowled five overs and they cost 51. He could be dropped for that effort.


At 159 for five England looked like sliding to a traditional heavy defeat in Asia. But they stuck to their guns to get close - a 25-run margin was no disgrace chasing 317 - so we cannot be too harsh on them.

Moeen Ali was the star of the show, striking the third fastest ODI ton by an Englishman. His 119 came off just 87 balls and it is an innings which effectively secures him the opening berth for the World Cup. That means Alex Hales could be twiddling his thumbs for a while as skip Alastair Cook is going nowhere.

They need to do work on their bowling and the omission of Steven Finn is not a bright move. Finn, statistically, is one of the finest ODI bowlers in the world. They need to find a spot for him and Harry Gurney, in trend because he's a left-armer, could make way. Ben Stokes has to be vulnerable too considering he went for nine an over and then slowed the chase with a strike rate of just 59.

First-innings runs

Sri Lanka's total took the average in the last 11 ODI at the RPS to 258. But more importantly that is four of the last five digs where the side batting first has busted 300. Before we get carried away, we are still unsure whether England can hit those heights. Remember that in 12 of their last first innings in Asia they've not gone past 275.

Match Odds

Sri Lanka are 1.625/8 for a 2-0 lead with England 2.588/5. As hard working as England were in game one, there was a clear gulf between the sides. And it was all about spin. Sri Lanka have far more effective spinners. Before the series began we analysed the importance of not only England playing spin well but bowling it. 

Moeen and James Tredwell did okay but whereas the England spin contingent managed three wickets between them, Sri Lanka's took six. That was, of course, because the hosts used four twirlers where as England used three and Joe Root only managed two overs. 

But it's about quality and quantity. Sri Lanka have it and England don't. England have come up short so many times before in this part of the world in the turn department and we have seen nothing that means it will suddenly change.

Top Sri Lanka Batsman

Dilshan enjoys a 4.3100/30 quote after his top-bat effort although Kumar Sangakkara, outfoxed by Moeen, retains jolly status at 4.03/1. Jayawardene is 5.04/1. Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka's biggest rungetter in the last 12 months, is 65/1 and that is the tipping point for him. He is always value when he gets as big.

Top England Batsman

Moeen is 4.3100/30 and although we tipped him last time at a much bigger price, we have to concede those odds are now correct. Cook is 5.14/1, Ian Bell, who looked in reasonable touch, is 5.04/1. Joe Root and Eoin Morgan are 6.05/1. Jos Buttler was available at 12.011/1 for the last match and his price is one to watch because he's at that stage of his career when folks aren't quite up to speed on how good he is. 

Ravi Bopara will be well backed at big odds after his half-century. Unrelated to the top-bat market, it has to be pointed out that Bopara is not quite hitting the mark in that finishing role. The number of times he has got England home in tight games like the first ODI is becoming few and far between. 

Recommended Bet
Back Sri Lanka @ 1.625/8

Ed Hawkins P/L

2014: +345.40

2013: +250.80 (ROI 25%)

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