Cricket World Cup 2019: Sri Lanka have a mountain to climb against red-hot England

Ajit Vijaykumar 19:09 20/06/2019
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It could very well be another mismatch at the 2019 World Cup when hosts England take on Sri Lanka in Leeds on Friday.

Hosts England provided further proof of their title credentials by knocking the wind out of Afghanistan in their previous clash with captain Eoin Morgan hitting a world record 17 sixes in a 150-run demolition of the Afghans.

Morgan’s team will have another chance to flex their muscles when they play Sri Lanka, with the hosts holding the upper hand in all departments.

SRI LANKA MUST PLAY THE GAME OF THEIR LIVES

The form England are in at the moment, even the best of most teams seems to be falling well short. Sri Lanka know they will have to play their best cricket to stop this England outfit, be it the belligerent batting of Jonny Bairstow, Morgan, Jos Buttler and Co or the 93mph bowling of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

They will, however, take some comfort from their previous match against Australia where they seemed to be in with a serious chance in the first two hours of their chase of 335. Captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera added 115 inside 16 overs and it took all the might of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins to stop Sri Lanka. So it can be done.

BIG DAY FOR MOEEN

It will be a special day for all-rounder Moeen Ali as he gears up for his 100th ODI. Moeen made it back to the team following a stomach upset to pacer Liam Plunkett. But after his brilliant  9-ball 31 against Afghanistan and tidy bowling, should retain his spot.

“It obviously means a lot, to play 100 ODI games for England. I never, ever thought in my wildest dreams that I would get close to it,” he said.

“It’s an amazing feeling. To see the team we are now, looking back if I was to retire I’d always be able to say I was part of that change, the whole mindset changing and the great cricket we’ve played.”

Moeen said his team can’t afford to take Sri Lanka lightly.

“There’s still a lot of games to go but it looks like that could be the top four. But anything can happen, we know that, I’m sure teams like Bangladesh will have something to say about it. They’re playing really good cricket and are a very dangerous side. Sri Lanka are also a big threat tomorrow as you saw against Australia, they were playing very well and probably could have won.”

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