Our prediction is that England Women will begin the tournament with a win against Sri Lanka Women at Hambantota.
After a mixed tour of India, England Women are on a tour to Sri Lanka for 3 ODIs followed by 3 T20 Internationals. First two ODIs will be played at Hambantota and the last ODI will be played at Katunayake. The series begins on 16th of March 2019 with the first ODI.
England Women, before coming to Sri Lanka, lost the ODI series against India but came back strongly in the shorter format of the game to clinch the T20I series. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had a horrid tour of South Africa where they went winless in 3-match ODI and T20I series. Sri Lanka Women would have to up their game to give a fight to this English team. Let’s see how Sri Lanka copes up with the challenge at home.
The home conditions might provide some respite to the Sri Lanka Women. However, they look to be struggling at the moment as they look to take on England Women at home in Hambantota on 16th of March 2019 in the first of the 3-match ODI series.
Sri Lanka Women had a forgettable tour of South Africa where they lost all ODIs and T20Is in a winless tour. Except for the 1st ODI at Potchefstroom and 2nd T20I at the New Wanderers stadium, Sri Lanka Women showed little resistance in the South Africa tour. Add to it the fact that they have won just 1 of the 12 matches under ICC’s Women Championship and the conditions desperate for Sri Lanka Women.
A lot depends on what tactical changes captain Jayangani makes to inspire her team for the challenge against England Women. Siriwardene is the all-rounder in form for Sri Lanka and Ranaweera will lead the bowling attack. Allrounder Hansima Karunaratne, and finger spinners Sugandika Kumari and Inoshi Priyadharshani have been included in the ODI squad.
PM Weerakkody, AC Jayangani (c), MAA Sanjeewani, GWHM Perera, HASD Siriwardene, H Madavi, NND de Silva, WK Dilhari, OU Ranasinghe, Hansima Karunaratne, I Ranaweera
England Women are not without their troubles in the ODIs. The regular batting collapses lead them to the 2-1 defeat against India Women recently. However, they got back to winning ways in the T20 leg of the tournament and look set to take on low confident Sri Lanka at home.
England must be looking to run through this series with a win in all the ODIs. This means they would definitely end up among the top-4 teams in the ranking confirming an automatic qualification for the world cup. However, they need not look that far just yet and rather look to build the team and to remove in the kinks in the armor.
Captain Heather Knight is in top form and must be delighted at back-in-form Danielle Wyatt. Catherine Burnt, Sarah Taylor will look to bring the experience into the play.
Heather Knight(c), Tammy Beaumont, Katherine Brunt, Alex Hartley, Amy Jones, Sarah Taylor(wk), Nat Sciver, Anya Shrubsole, Lauren Winfield, Danielle Wyatt
The ground at Hambantota is one of the largest grounds in Sri Lanka and one of the few that support seam bowling more than the spinners. The teams bowling first have won more at this venue in the ODIs – winning 10 out of 20 against 7 batting first.
Considering the ground the match will be played at, the team winning toss should want to Bowl first!
There is already a valley of difference between Sri Lanka Women, currently lowest ranked in the ICC women's championship rankings, and England, who are defending champions and are making their way up in the rankings. England definitely start as favorites despite playing away from home. Sri Lanka should not worry about winning but rather getting their processes right against a top class England Women team.
Our prediction is that England women will kick start the series with a win against Sri Lanka at Hambantota March 16, 2019.
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