England v Sri Lanka, 5th ODI, Edgbaston June 2, 2014

Unpredictability gives decider edge

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Play 02:09
Would it be better if England lost?

Match facts

Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Start time 1400 local (1300 GMT)

Big Picture

England threatened to run away with the ODIs first, then Sri Lanka did. Then England did again. Somehow, the series has wound up at Edgbaston still needing to be decided.

The result may pivot on which version of each team shows up. Will the Sri Lanka that played the first 35 overs at Lord's outclass the hosts? Or will the England that gathered speed in the last 15 overs of that match, blow the visitors away? Will the Sri Lanka batting that fell apart for 67 surrender once more? Or will the bowlers that dismantled England for 99 three days prior reprise their menace?

What is clear is that whichever team emerges with the trophy will take considerable confidence into the Tests. If England win, they will have snapped a barren streak and Peter Moores' regime will have some early validation. A Sri Lanka victory would extend their 2014 streak and they could regard big losses at The Oval and Manchester as aberrations. The latter result would also see the teams head into the Tests on more even terms, than if England walk away victors.

Thanks to cloud cover and some moderately helpful surfaces, seam bowling has shaped the series to a large extent. In each match, the team that lost fewer than two wickets in the first 20 overs won, even if that security comes at the expense of the run rate. Sri Lanka have had trouble finding Tillakaratne Dilshan's opening partner but they have won both matches in which Dilshan has struck up hefty partnerships with Kumar Sangakkara. England have been similarly reliant on Ian Bell to resist the early movement generated by Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga.

Overall, England's pace attack appears the stronger one but Sri Lanka hold the edge through the middle overs and the death. If the visiting batsmen can survive the early bursts from James Anderson, Harry Gurney and Chris Jordan, they may tilt the game in their favour. England played Sachithra Senanayake better at Lord's, but they had been unsteady against him earlier in the series (Senanayake has been reported for a suspect action, but it will not affect his availability for the final ODI). Lasith Malinga, meanwhile, has occasionally been expensive but showed at the death that his ability to rattle chases is undiminished.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)
England: LWLWW
Sri Lanka: WLWLW

In the spotlight

Jordan has had the limelight in this series, but Harry Gurney has been almost as effective for England, delivering sprightly left-arm pace, adorned with a little movement off the seam. Crucially, he has been accurate early in the innings. Sri Lanka's top three like early boundaries and, by denying them the length and width they desire, Gurney has kept them on edge, and played a major role in the collapses that have ensued.

Sri Lanka drafted in Ashan Priyanjan to the lower middle-order in place of Thisara Perera but, following a valuable 43 in Durham, he has had two less impressive outings. Priyanjan will hope he can be in the mix when Sri Lanka look to firm up their combination for the World Cup and, given the competition for middle-order spots, he may need another good knock in England to announce he is ready for an extended stint in the playing XI.

Teams news

England's players were all fit on the eve of the match, and the team is likely to be unchanged.

England (probable): 1 Alastair Cook (capt.), 2 Ian Bell, 3 Gary Ballance, 4 Joe Root, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Ravi Bopara, 7 Jos Buttler (wk), 8 Chris Jordan, 9 James Tredwell, 10 James Anderson, 11 Harry Gurney

Sri Lanka have tried two opening combinations in the series so far and, while they will be tempted to send Mahela Jayawardene up the order to partner Dilshan, Kusal Perera will probably keep his place atop the innings. They may also be minded to rest Senanayake, given the added pressure and scrutiny an impending biomechanical test can stir up, but will more likely play him, in order to suggest he has nothing to hide.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene 5 Dinesh Chandimal, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Lahiru Thirimanne, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachithra Senanayake, 10 Ajantha Mendis/ Rangana Herath, 11 Lasith Malinga,

Pitch and conditions

The Edgbaston surface tends to be slightly slow and given to modest turn, which will suit Sri Lanka. The forecast is for cloud and rain, however, which may mean the England seamers will enjoy bowling with the new ball for as long as precipitation holds off.


Stats and trivia

  • Since 2000, Sri Lanka have won one bilateral ODI series in England and lost one.
  • The wicket of Kumar Sangakkara at Lord's gave James Tredwell his 50th ODI scalp, in his 35th game. He is the fastest ever England spinner to the milestone, with five seam bowlers ahead of him.
  • Mahela Jayawardene has only crossed 50 once in 18 ODI innings.

Quotes

"So far through the series, we haven't quite put the complete game together. I hope we'll do that tomorrow."
Peter Moores, England's coach, wants his players to finally click

"It is good to see all these younger guys thinking out of the box and playing the conditions and situation. It is all good for the game."
Mahela Jayawardene didn't mind watching Jos Buttler bat at Lord's, despite the close finish

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    Kaushal silva is a slow batsman...u cant put him in rhe squad..

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    I cannot agree more with haalithjr, Mahela should definitely open. He has proven himself to be a very attacking opening batsman in ODIs.

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Can someone tell me why Tissara Perera has been taken out of our team. He is a match winner with bat and ball.

  • InternationalCricketFollower on June 3, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    Buttler should move up the order (Pref no.4). There is too much defense at the top. Also Lanka should consider picking Kaushal Silva in the future. He can stop these unnecessary batting collapses. He is probably the most solid young player in SL cricket right now.

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    hope that Anglo, Malinga and the rest will do the need.

  • anver777 on June 3, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    Sachithra is a wicket taker & must play today's all important match for SL...... I was shocked, when i read the news of his suspected bowling action !!!!!!! He's brilliant & a household name in SL cricket for his power play bowling + some breath taking fielding.... SL win this for Sachithra !!!!

  • Balladeer on June 3, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Oh for heaven's sake. People blaming the ECB for the Senanayake reporting should look at the article. The umpires submitted the report: a South African, two Zealanders and one Englishman. By that logic (if you can call it that), is the New Zealand Cricket Board at fault (if you can call it that) for the report? Don't be ridiculous.

    As for the match itself, after the last four, who the heck knows? I don't, that's for sure. But it's bucketing it down in London at the moment, so if that spreads to Birmingham, maybe England will be favourites.

    Regardless, if I were England and won the toss, I'd bat first, regardless of the pitch, conditions, and most other things. England have shown that they cannot handle the pressure of the chase - unless the opposition are all out for 67, of course.

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    I prefer priyanjan over the chandimal. Chandimal's poor form may not help the SL cause.Cannot ask the Mahelata to take a seat in the bench.

  • haalithjr on June 3, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    SL should open the innings with Mahela.then see the outcome...

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    hoping angelo will win the toss atleast today....

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    Kaushal silva is a slow batsman...u cant put him in rhe squad..

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    I cannot agree more with haalithjr, Mahela should definitely open. He has proven himself to be a very attacking opening batsman in ODIs.

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    Can someone tell me why Tissara Perera has been taken out of our team. He is a match winner with bat and ball.

  • InternationalCricketFollower on June 3, 2014, 11:31 GMT

    Buttler should move up the order (Pref no.4). There is too much defense at the top. Also Lanka should consider picking Kaushal Silva in the future. He can stop these unnecessary batting collapses. He is probably the most solid young player in SL cricket right now.

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:11 GMT

    hope that Anglo, Malinga and the rest will do the need.

  • anver777 on June 3, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    Sachithra is a wicket taker & must play today's all important match for SL...... I was shocked, when i read the news of his suspected bowling action !!!!!!! He's brilliant & a household name in SL cricket for his power play bowling + some breath taking fielding.... SL win this for Sachithra !!!!

  • Balladeer on June 3, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Oh for heaven's sake. People blaming the ECB for the Senanayake reporting should look at the article. The umpires submitted the report: a South African, two Zealanders and one Englishman. By that logic (if you can call it that), is the New Zealand Cricket Board at fault (if you can call it that) for the report? Don't be ridiculous.

    As for the match itself, after the last four, who the heck knows? I don't, that's for sure. But it's bucketing it down in London at the moment, so if that spreads to Birmingham, maybe England will be favourites.

    Regardless, if I were England and won the toss, I'd bat first, regardless of the pitch, conditions, and most other things. England have shown that they cannot handle the pressure of the chase - unless the opposition are all out for 67, of course.

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:43 GMT

    I prefer priyanjan over the chandimal. Chandimal's poor form may not help the SL cause.Cannot ask the Mahelata to take a seat in the bench.

  • haalithjr on June 3, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    SL should open the innings with Mahela.then see the outcome...

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:39 GMT

    hoping angelo will win the toss atleast today....

  • Patchmaster on June 3, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    Firstly, ENG should never be reliant on Bell in any ODI. Secondly, Cook must be on borrowed time, before he must make way for Hales.

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:33 GMT

    going to be another one sided zombie show in a miserable climate...hope today sL will atleast score a three figure total.....england should organize all their home series in the winter and they will naturally be the winner of all...they even will win the ashes 5-0..hehe

  • sambudgie on June 3, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    England up to their old tricks. If you can't beat them in the middle, report them for something or anything. Senanayake is a real talent and a good all rounder. Do you think IPL will give preference if he wasn't? ICC do not practice double standards. Treat James Kirtly, Sunil Naraine, Sayed Ajmal, H Singh and Senanayake all the same. We will see if England will turn up toady. First ODI rain won the game for England. Second ODI SL thrashed England. Third ODI weather won the game for England. Fourth ODI was a good match thanks to Jos Butler who is a real talent for England. Fifth ODI weather permitting SL will beat England.

  • VillageBlacksmith on June 3, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    ''England have been similarly reliant on Ian Bell to resist the early movement generated by Nuwan Kulasekara and Lasith Malinga'' Really George??!! Bell (nearly 150 odis) has scored just over 100 runs in 4 home matches this series with just 1 fifty, so failed in 3… Malinga & Kulasekara will hardly be shaking in their boots! And with the pedestrian balance, cook & root, plus the hopelessly out of form morgan none of SL bowlers will be worried!

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    It all dep on weather sunny Sl win cloudy/rain Eng win

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:03 GMT

    My XI is 1.Dil 2.Mahela 3.Kushal 4.Sanga 5.Thir 6.Math7.Thissara 8.Senanayake 9.Kula 10.Malinga 11. Hereth/Mendis

  • dunger.bob on June 3, 2014, 9:50 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney: re the wides. Yep. Some ill discipline from your bowlers made the difference in the end. Jordan was very guilty of leg side wides and he has to cut it out. .. I thought Buttler's innings deserved to win the game for his team but he was denied by some block head bowlers. .. If they had bowled just half as many wides England would have won that game. I guess you've got to expect a few wides in a 50 over game because bowlers aren't robots but it is something that can be controlled to a certain extent. 16 is too many, a few of your bowlers need to sharpen up in that area.

  • on June 3, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    Mahela must play till WC. every youngster become older oneday and it doesnt prove their time has come.as long as the player`s experience and the quality serves the team.Age is not a factor.ppl who dosent have a bit of knowledge abt the game talk what they dont know.

  • on June 3, 2014, 9:39 GMT

    Only change that SRilanka need is to DROP Mahela .Bring Thisara for him to play in the middle order and move up Priyanjan to take no 4 or 5 spot.

  • on June 3, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    @Dyland Don Paul spot on mate..

  • on June 3, 2014, 9:29 GMT

    @chamin- Mate watch cricket matches before comment! england read mendis well and he should be dropped

  • on June 3, 2014, 9:21 GMT

    Well first the England cricket board only offers two test matches, then they offer the entire series during the start of the season in damp cold weather!!!! then they steal the SL coach before the start of the series. They also miss treat the SL fans by not properly giving coverage to the proceedings at the ground. In addition to that they give the umpiring to local umpires who are unable to make a unbiased decision even on wides. Now they attack the bowler who has taken the highest wickets for SL. Very negative, ungentlemanly like tactics used by England board. It shows how desperate they are and to which lengths they will go to win. If England cannot win the series after doing all of this they should be really ashamed.

  • SanjeewaWK on June 3, 2014, 9:08 GMT

    Sri Lanka should give proper chance to Priyanjan. And Mahela should think about his ODI carrier. youngsters are waiting for their chances.

  • SanjeewaWK on June 3, 2014, 8:55 GMT

    Dilshan, Kusal, Kumar, Priyanjan, Mahela, Thiri, Mathews, Chathuranga/Thisara, Kula, Sachithra, Malinga

  • on June 3, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    England Have Selected Very Good Team to the 5th ODI. Where as Srilankan Team have Not Selected the Best attacking Players.SL Need Hard Hitting Batsmans to Challenge the England Batting.The Last Game Team Fairly balance Team.SL Must Include Thisara Perera. if there is no Place then they can drop Chandimal. People Expect Good Contest It is not a matter Who wins the game. we need a very close finish. Good luck to Both Teams.

  • sanathhs on June 3, 2014, 8:05 GMT

    rain & bad weather mean England Win. Dry & sunny day mean Srilanka WIn

  • on June 3, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    Edgbaston pitch wil be helping the seamers a lot.. Again it wil be a cold condition for sl.. Guess English team wil be in the drivers seat if they bowl first..,

  • on June 3, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Srilanka played the best team at the last game and they should go with the same team. Team looked without Dinesh Chandimal (failing game after game, and not sure why he in the squad) and Kusal opening the batting. Also Ajantha Mendis should be in the side specially when England players can't read him very well.

  • Dimesh on June 3, 2014, 6:56 GMT

    No Use!!!!!!! See Rankings that Cricinfo showing. Sri Lanka holds No1 till They lose to Eng During WC. and India became No1. After India have lost WC finals. they should moved down to 2nd. but it didn't happen.

    We thought cricinfo made a mistake then. But at least after Sri Lanka defeated Eng in t20 table only counted played matches . not NOT PIONTS.... where is the truth??????????????????????????????????????????

  • Udendra on June 3, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    The only change SL can do is to drop Jayawardene.

  • on June 3, 2014, 6:25 GMT

    SL has beaten ENG in ENG twice already so early in the summer and still there is "UN-predictability" about the outcome of today's match? It's an obvious SL win tonight.

  • on June 3, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    Unfortunately we can't do much about the weather we are playing on. If unfortunately we lose this game hope Angi will not give any excuses ( like some popular captains) and accept that we lost because we didn't do well. But I have a feeling that this is going to end 2-2 and 1 to weather.

  • MAK123 on June 3, 2014, 6:01 GMT

    Team turning favorite on betfair in the second innings will win this match

  • gsamiru on June 3, 2014, 5:52 GMT

    According to the forecast, it going to be raining whole afternoon at Edgbaston..... ! Not sure about a full game of Cricket in this thrilling decider ...... ! Can anyone around Edgbaston, give us an update about the whether today .......

  • on June 3, 2014, 5:39 GMT

    forecast is for showers throught the afternoon and gloomy skies....so no doubt its england who will win if the game is played at all.....unfair to sri alnka...why is it always that SL get matches in england in May and june and the other touring teams getting to play in the sunshine of july and august...am sure the indian team will thrash this medicore english team well and truly in july and august..

  • on June 3, 2014, 5:31 GMT

    Hope non-performing Mahela will be dropped for the last match and give a youngster a chance to Groom.

  • Herath-UK on June 3, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    It is very unfair on Sri Lanka's batsmen awaiting some sun to break out to excel when all the so called good batsmen in the touring teams,Ind,SA & Aus etc in the summer have sun always on their back! I wonder how our batsmen would excel if the series is in the summer.

  • on June 3, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    this match will tougher to both the teams....sanga rocks

  • SL_Fan_5 on June 3, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Chandimal again? We need to get pass him. He has had enough chances and if we think he is going to change his game before the WC, that is just wishful thinking. Rather give the opportunity to someone new and at least there will be hope. Thisara is the better bet. We missed him at lords and lacked the fire power in the late order. We have a pretty strong middle order after a long time. Thisara gives the right balance towards the end. We cant only count on Kulasekara. He might even get a few wickets if he is lucky. I think he has also been more consistent compared to Chandimal in the recent past.

  • jmcilhinney on June 3, 2014, 3:06 GMT

    One thing England need to concentrate on is bowling fewer wides. They gave up 16 runs in wides to SL's 3 in the last game. Given that the final winning margin was just 7, that's significant. While I'm not blaming the bowlers for the loss, 16 wides is far too many.

  • on June 3, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    James Tredwell is someone I've never seen performing or giving a match winning spell to the team. England should look for a spinner replacement soon.

  • pandian_ikku on June 3, 2014, 1:47 GMT

    Kusal, Dilshan, Sangakkara, Mahela, Thirimanne, Mathews, Thisara, Sachithra, Kule, Mendis, Malinga

  • Roshan_P on June 2, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    I'd take out Bopara for Woakes and move Buttler up a place. Woakes apparently is more of a longer-form specialist but we need that fifth bowling option. I would also put in Hales. If what I am hearing about him is correct then he needs a game in place if Cook or Bell:

    1) Hales, 2) Bell, 3) Ballance, 4) Root, 5) Morgan (capt) , 6) Buttler, 7) Woakes, 8) Jordan, 9) Tredwell, 10) Anderson, 11) Gurney

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 2, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Drop Cook for Hales; rest of England team unchanged.

    For Sri Lanka, play Herath instead of Senanayake.

    Should be England's game given the conditions and forecast.

  • on June 2, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    If Chandimal plays, he should bat at 4, NOT at 7 or 8. Chandimal playing as a tailender is like Malinga or Mendis opening the batting, it's just ridiculous. You don't play an accumulating, strokemaking middle order batsman as a finisher or tailender, that's just common sense!

  • Nathan_123 on June 2, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    I think the weather going to determine the winner tomorrow. The forecast for tomorrow is overcast and some showers. Since the condions as such my money is on England. If the Sun comes out no doubt Sl will be the runner way winners. Its shame weather determines the outcome of the game rather than the Best team. Mahela has to play his part tomorrow if SL was to have any chance of winning. You can't expect Kumar and Dilshan to bail out SL all the time. Either way SL has done well in this serious so far because it's very cold and wet in England and SL cricketers have done well to take the ODI series to the final game. I believe SL would do well in the test series because the weather will be better from Mid June onwards. If SL can win the ODI series and draw the test series it will be a huge victory for them because of the hostile conditions in England. In my opinion there shouldn't be any international cricket played in England before June because the home team has unfair advantage.

  • JG2704 on June 2, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    England need to rejig the batting order and

    1 - Move Buttler ahead of Bopara - Bopara did better in his last game but as I posted previously Buttler's influence IMO was the key. I wonder if Bopara would have upped the ante if he was batting with Cook,Bell,Root or Ballance?

    2 - If we are chasing a biggish total then bring the likes of Buttler,Morgan up the order. Ballance and Root were a disgrace and the position they left the team in - batting at less than 4 an over when needing to chase at 6 an over was totally unacceptable. If they can't up the tempo ship them out. Root has upped the tempo enough in the past but Ballance has been a repeat offender

  • Herath-UK on June 2, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    England can't win alone it needs the weather support as the events unfolded.Give us a decent weather Sri Lanka will be crying,I'm sure.What Sri Lanka have to look at is how poor they tackle the batting power play.When Dilshan got out in the first power play over they sent Mahela who naturally was looking to first consolidate for a longer innings than attacking then & there.So better would have been to send someone lower down to sacrifice for a better rate whether it comes or not.Saving everything for the last ten overs you lose to capitalise on the power play,Eng scored over 50 against 24 by SL.

  • saifkhanBD on June 2, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    SL is going to win. They have a better bowling line-up and a batting unit, which will get better as the tour goes on. All the best.

  • CodandChips on June 2, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    I think Gurney has been our best bowler this series. I hope Woakes gets a game. I don't rate his white-ball game but he deserves a go. He is too talented to be a perennial drinks carrier.

    Big game for Cook. I doubt England will change from Cook and Bell before the world cup. However well the were batting at Old Trafford, they have scored just 1 50 between them, and Cook in particular has struggled. I assume their role is to bat big, but when was the last time either scored a century? Moreover I strongly believe that if Cook and Bell do score a hundred, we are much less likely to score 300 plus.

  • on June 2, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Hope makes the world go round. Come on, England!

  • YsaKaru on June 2, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    my XI: 1.dilshan 2.mahela 3.sanga 4.chandimal/priyanjan 5.thirimanne 6.kusal 7.angi 8.thisara/chathuranga 9.sachithra 10.kule 11.lasith GOOD LUCK BOYS!!!!!!

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  • YsaKaru on June 2, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    my XI: 1.dilshan 2.mahela 3.sanga 4.chandimal/priyanjan 5.thirimanne 6.kusal 7.angi 8.thisara/chathuranga 9.sachithra 10.kule 11.lasith GOOD LUCK BOYS!!!!!!

  • on June 2, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    Hope makes the world go round. Come on, England!

  • CodandChips on June 2, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    I think Gurney has been our best bowler this series. I hope Woakes gets a game. I don't rate his white-ball game but he deserves a go. He is too talented to be a perennial drinks carrier.

    Big game for Cook. I doubt England will change from Cook and Bell before the world cup. However well the were batting at Old Trafford, they have scored just 1 50 between them, and Cook in particular has struggled. I assume their role is to bat big, but when was the last time either scored a century? Moreover I strongly believe that if Cook and Bell do score a hundred, we are much less likely to score 300 plus.

  • saifkhanBD on June 2, 2014, 17:35 GMT

    SL is going to win. They have a better bowling line-up and a batting unit, which will get better as the tour goes on. All the best.

  • Herath-UK on June 2, 2014, 17:49 GMT

    England can't win alone it needs the weather support as the events unfolded.Give us a decent weather Sri Lanka will be crying,I'm sure.What Sri Lanka have to look at is how poor they tackle the batting power play.When Dilshan got out in the first power play over they sent Mahela who naturally was looking to first consolidate for a longer innings than attacking then & there.So better would have been to send someone lower down to sacrifice for a better rate whether it comes or not.Saving everything for the last ten overs you lose to capitalise on the power play,Eng scored over 50 against 24 by SL.

  • JG2704 on June 2, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    England need to rejig the batting order and

    1 - Move Buttler ahead of Bopara - Bopara did better in his last game but as I posted previously Buttler's influence IMO was the key. I wonder if Bopara would have upped the ante if he was batting with Cook,Bell,Root or Ballance?

    2 - If we are chasing a biggish total then bring the likes of Buttler,Morgan up the order. Ballance and Root were a disgrace and the position they left the team in - batting at less than 4 an over when needing to chase at 6 an over was totally unacceptable. If they can't up the tempo ship them out. Root has upped the tempo enough in the past but Ballance has been a repeat offender

  • Nathan_123 on June 2, 2014, 19:07 GMT

    I think the weather going to determine the winner tomorrow. The forecast for tomorrow is overcast and some showers. Since the condions as such my money is on England. If the Sun comes out no doubt Sl will be the runner way winners. Its shame weather determines the outcome of the game rather than the Best team. Mahela has to play his part tomorrow if SL was to have any chance of winning. You can't expect Kumar and Dilshan to bail out SL all the time. Either way SL has done well in this serious so far because it's very cold and wet in England and SL cricketers have done well to take the ODI series to the final game. I believe SL would do well in the test series because the weather will be better from Mid June onwards. If SL can win the ODI series and draw the test series it will be a huge victory for them because of the hostile conditions in England. In my opinion there shouldn't be any international cricket played in England before June because the home team has unfair advantage.

  • on June 2, 2014, 19:25 GMT

    If Chandimal plays, he should bat at 4, NOT at 7 or 8. Chandimal playing as a tailender is like Malinga or Mendis opening the batting, it's just ridiculous. You don't play an accumulating, strokemaking middle order batsman as a finisher or tailender, that's just common sense!

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on June 2, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    Drop Cook for Hales; rest of England team unchanged.

    For Sri Lanka, play Herath instead of Senanayake.

    Should be England's game given the conditions and forecast.

  • Roshan_P on June 2, 2014, 21:25 GMT

    I'd take out Bopara for Woakes and move Buttler up a place. Woakes apparently is more of a longer-form specialist but we need that fifth bowling option. I would also put in Hales. If what I am hearing about him is correct then he needs a game in place if Cook or Bell:

    1) Hales, 2) Bell, 3) Ballance, 4) Root, 5) Morgan (capt) , 6) Buttler, 7) Woakes, 8) Jordan, 9) Tredwell, 10) Anderson, 11) Gurney