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Formidable England looks to close out series with win

Sri Lanka’s young side has done well, but the home team’s batting has been the difference in the ODI series so far

Formidable England looks to close out series with win - Cricket News
Aggression has been the reason behind Jason Roy’s chart-topping 282 runs from four innings at an average of 141.00 and a strike rate of 122.60
At 82 for 6, England wasn’t expected to reach the 286 Sri Lanka compiled and come away with an astounding tie in the first of the five One-Day Internationals at Trent Bridge. After conceding 254 in the second ODI at Birmingham, it wasn’t expected to finish the game in the 35th over with all 10 wickets standing. With the third game washed out due to rain, and with Sri Lanka pilling on 305 in a rain-hit 42-overs-a-side fourth encounter at Bristol, England wasn’t expected to close out the series by chasing down the mammoth tally in just 40.1 overs. 
 
But it did all of that. And the onus is now on Sri Lanka to lift its game when the two teams meet for the final ODI at Cardiff on Saturday (July 2), with England already having a 3-0 lead.
 
To its credit, Sri Lanka has fought hard with limited resources after suffering a number of injury blows. Its batsmen are putting on a show which would have highlighted the series had it not been for the showing of England’s own batting unit. But the visiting side’s bowling attack has been hit with injuries to Dhammika Prasad and Dushmantha Chameera, and Shaminda Eranga being ruled out due to a suspect action. Consequently a young unit has had to shoulder the burden of reining in England – the team that has scored runs at a quicker rate than any other in world cricket since April 2015.
 
Eoin Morgan had announced after England's early exit in the ICC World Cup 2015 that his side would approach the game with aggression, and the skipper has stayed true to his words. England has added more than a dash of spice to its ability in limited-overs cricket, and it has become one of the most entertaining ODI units in the world at the moment. 
 
Since the World Cup, England has played four ODI series and has won two. Even the ones it lost — against Australia and South Africa — were hard-fought. Despite the losses, Morgan maintained that England’s approach would remain the same against Sri Lanka and sure enough, the young bunch delivered.
 
Aggression has been the reason behind Jason Roy’s chart-topping 282 runs from four innings at an average of 141.00 and a strike rate of 122.60, and the attitude has percolated to the bowling department as well. The top three wicket-takers in the series are English, with Liam Plunkett leading the way with seven wickets.
 


The bowlers didn’t come out all guns blazing in the fourth ODI, as four of Sri Lanka’s top five made half-centuries, but against a seemingly invincible batting line-up, a successful chase was always within reach, with Roy smashing 162 off 118 balls.
 
Angelo Mathews, the Sri Lankan captain, has been one of the team’s most consistent performers with the bat but his side hasn’t been able to cross the line despite his best efforts. There remains one more round in the ODI series, and Mathews will be hoping that everything clicks in place for his side.
 
Teams (from):
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Steven Finn, Chris Jordan, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes.
 
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Farveez Maharoof, Suraj Randiv, Seekkuge Prasanna.

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