Having cantered to what looked like a very tricky target at the Oval to clinch the series 2-0 against Sri Lanka, Eoin Morgan’s heavy hitters should end it on an emphatic note in Cardiff.
Although there seems little motivation for England to claim a 3-0 series win, the opportunity to move up the rankings, something coach Paul Farbrace has placed emphasis on since the World Cup, is a sizeable carrot for the final match in the series.
Morgan’s men are 2/7 to achieve this aim and considering the lick with which they are knocking off runs collectively in the last 12 months, it feels justifiably short.
Since the World Cup debacle last autumn, Morgan and co have been spurred on in the white-ball format. The Three Lions’ scoring rate since last May is higher than any other leading ODI nation.
As Sri Lanka discovered last time out, this batting line-up aren’t phased by any total at present – duly rattling off their second-highest successful chase of 305 in testing conditions at the Oval.
Jason Roy grabbed the headlines with his majestic knock of 162, the second-highest ODI score by an England batsman, and the Surrey man’s form is likely to be key in finishing off Angelo Mathew’s side once more.
Roy has pieced together two centuries in three matches this series and surely rates a fine bet, at a boosted price of 7/2 no less, to top score for England again at Sophia Gardens. It’s 6/4 he reaches 50.
You have to feel slightly for Sri Lanka. The tourists, many of them lacking the same 50-over exposure as the hosts internationally speaking, have toiled all summer in something approaching the coldest conditions they will have played cricket in.
There have been pockets of resistance and flashes of brilliance to point at, but in reality a gulf in class exists.
The tourists’ lack a genuine exploiter of English conditions with the ball in hand and facing a line-up where Adil Rashid is number 11, the going has been understandably tough .
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