England registered a thumping win in the first T20I against Sri Lanka.
Back England to win the 2nd T20I.
The first T20I between England and Sri Lanka at Cardiff went on expected lines as the hosts registered a thumping 8-wicket win with close to 3 overs to spare. England at home is almost unbeatable at the moment and the visiting Lankan side would need to produce something special to thwart this strong English team in the shortest format. Sri Lanka looked poor in all the departments clearly haven’t had time to adjust to the conditions. England would hence be looking to continue their dominance.
England produced a clinical performance in the first T20I against Sri Lanka. After Sri Lanka batted first, they restricted them to just 129-7 on a good strip. They then chased the target down in only 17.1 overs with the loss of 2 wickets. Jos Buttler yet again showed why he is the king in this format by smashing a scintillating unbeaten 68 off 55 balls to take his team home.
This England side is strong in all departments. The opening combo of Jason Roy and Buttler is one of the most dangerous in the world. Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, and captain Eoin Morgan give the middle-order more stability. And Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran down the order can change the game anytime.
England also have the perfect set of bowlers for these conditions. Chris Woakes and Sam Curran did a fantastic job of putting the Lankan batsmen under check. Mark Wood and Chris Jordan ensure that no easy runs are given during the middle stages. And leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who delivered an amazing spell of 2-17 off 4 overs in the last match, again proved why he is such a vital cog of this bowling unit.
Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
Chris Jordan, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jason Roy, Mark Wood, AU Rashid, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone, Eoin Morgan, Sam Curran, David Jonathan Willey
Sri Lanka have their task cut out in this series. They looked ordinary on all fronts in the first T20I and really need to pull up their socks if they hope to compete with this strong English side. After batting first on a good Cardiff wicket in the first match, they could only muster 129-7. The entire top and middle-order, barring captain Kusal Perera (30 off 26 balls), collapsed. Were it not for Dasun Shanaka’s 50 off 44 balls down the order, they would have fared much worse.
In Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, and Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lanka has a good batting unit. They just have to apply themselves more and support their captain. If the openers can give them a good start, then Perera and the others can capitalize later on.
Unfortunately, Sri Lanka’s bowling appears to lack teeth at the moment. While Dushmantha Chameera started the bowling well in the last match, Nuwan Pradeep gave away runs. The most disappointing part for Sri Lanka was that their main spinner, Akila Dananjaya, was smashed for 40 runs in his 4 overs. However, leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga delivered an impressive spell of 0-12 in 4 overs and Isuru Udana (1-30 in 4 overs) looked to be the team's best seamer.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (c & wk), Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep
Niroshan Dickwella, Avishka Fernando, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Binura Fernando, Kusal Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Mendis, Dushmantha Chameera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Wanidu Hasaranga
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||12||0 mm.||1.44 k/h||From: NW||100%|
|03h||13||0 mm.||0.85 k/h||From: WNW||100%|
|06h||13||0 mm.||0.84 k/h||From: W||100%|
|09h||14||0 mm.||1.46 k/h||From: WSW||100%|
|12h||14||0.22 mm.||2.6 k/h||From: W||100%|
|15h||17||0.34 mm.||3.12 k/h||From: WSW||100%|
|18h||15||0 mm.||3.83 k/h||From: WSW||100%|
|21h||14||0 mm.||3.71 k/h||From: W||87%|
As we saw in the first T20I, the pitch at Sophia Gardens is a good limited-overs wicket that remains true throughout. In fact, it looked even better for batting in the second innings. However, seam bowlers will get some help, and spinners too will enjoy bowling here during the middle stages as the pitch slows down a little.
A couple of showers are expected in Cardiff today but we should still have a full game.
Sophia Gardens isn’t exactly a batting paradise and not many huge scores have been achieved here. The average first innings score here is 146 and it drops down to 144 in the second innings. The highest team total in T20Is in the venue is 182/5 by England against Australia in 2015.
Of the 6 T20I matches played at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff, the teams batting second have won 4 times. Thus, the team winning the toss is likely to look to bowl first.
The last time Sri Lanka beat England in a T20I was way back in 2014. Since then, England have won all the 4 matches that have been played between the two sides. The numbers are unlikely to change in this series. England are too strong in all the departments at the moment and Sri Lanka still look unsettled. Despite not having the likes of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer in their setup, England will begin as favourites to make it 2-0 after the second match.
Back England to win the 2nd T20I.