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|Jofra Chioke Archer||3||11||0||0||27.27|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||8.0||0||32||3||4.00|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||29||47||1||0||61.70|
|Jofra Chioke Archer||10.0||2||52||3||5.20|
A win for New Zealand over South Africa has made the task to qualify for the playoffs extremely difficult for the Proteas. They are placed eight in the points table with just one win in five matches. Almost at the opposite end of the points table, at number two, are England, who have played fantastic cricket in the tournament so far. In between the two spots are Sri Lanka, at sixth, who were perceived to be one of the weakest teams in the competition, but have surprisingly still kept themselves in the business to qualify for the final four. Their next game, against England, is going to be critical for them. The match is to be played at Headingley Cricket Ground, Leeds on Friday, June 21st.
Favorites, to begin with, losing to Pakistan, and then once again getting back to rampaging form - such has been the story for the hosts in the tournament so far. They had a terrific start to the competition, beating England by a considerable margin, but lost their way in the middle with irresponsible display against England. They've learned from their poor batting as well as bowling display against Pakistan and have been fabulous ever since.
They'll have an opportunity to regain the top spot at the ladder which was lost with New Zealand's recent win over the Proteas. Because another couple of wins should be sufficient to take them to the top of the table, they'll be looking to get one in the next game with their matches against India, New Zealand and Australia still to be done.
Injury to Jason Roy has indeed rendered their opening pair a little shaky, but the assurance with which James Vince played in the last game would have given them some confidence. Apart from that, their batting - which goes down till number eleven. They have the calmness of Joe Root and the flamboyance of Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler to follow which makes them a perfect batting unit. The presence of Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, and Moeen Ali only add to their balance.
While their bowling was being considered a little weak before coming into the tournament, the introduction of Jofra Archer has undoubtedly added another dimension to their bowling attack. England have found back the momentum after their unexpected loss to Pakistan, and with their bowling, as well as the batting, doing well, they will be a tough side to get past in the upcoming encounter.
J Vince, Jonny Bairstow, JE Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, BA Stokes, Moeen Ali, CR Woakes, AU Rashid, Jofra Chioke Archer, M Wood.
Sri Lanka came into the World Cup on the back of some poor performances in bilateral as well as multi-member series, but as luck would have it and their terrific history in ICC tournaments, they are at pretty good position in this edition - largely due to the shared points in washed-out games.
They are coming into this match on the back of a poor performance against Australia wherein they lost by 87 runs. The problem of not having enough experience in the middle-order was well and truly apparent as they slid from a comfortable position to a position from where winning was a pipe dream.
Earlier with the ball, their bowlers were erratic and bowled all around the wicket as Aaron Finch hammered them all around the park. Dananjaya de Silva provided them with a couple of breakthroughs, but the rest of their bowlers couldn't impress.
While their performance hasn't been up to the mark, they'd be pretty satisfied with the way their top order has played. Skipper Dimuth Karunaratne has led the team from the front and played an immaculate knock, although in vain, in their previous encounter. The Islanders would need their batsmen to step up and bowlers to play out of their skins to put Englishmen under any pressure whatsoever.
Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis , Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, BMAJ Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep.
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Given the form of the two sides, this contest appears to be a mismatch. Having said that, the nature of the game and the tournament is such that any team can topple the other on its day. While Sri Lanka have done exceedingly well historically in the ICC tournaments, their performance since the retirements of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene has only gone downhill. England, on the contrary, have surged since their poor performance in the 2015 World Cup and are favorites to win this one. With some impressive performances in their last few matches and an astonishingly well-balanced side, England are firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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