England vs Sri Lanka, 1st semi-final, St Lucia May 12, 2010

All-round England have the advantage

Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan
Stats preview of the first semi-final between England and Sri Lanka to be played in St Lucia

Sri Lanka's entry in the semi-finals of the ICC World Twenty20 further underlines their consistency in major tournaments over the last few years. They've made the final of the last 50-over World Cup and the 20-over version, and a win on Thursday will give them the chance to do what they couldn't on both those occasions - win the trophy. England, though, have been so consistent in all aspects throughout this tournament that they'll fancy their chances, even in the slower conditions that should favour Sri Lanka.

England have the better numbers in the tournament so far. Their only loss was a rain-induced one, while Sri Lanka have lost two games, one of them convincingly. There's little to choose between the batting run rates of the two teams, but England score over Sri Lanka in terms of economy rate. Tim Bresnan and Michael Yardy have been extremely thrifty while Graeme Swann has been among the wickets consistently. Despite the Sri Lankan fast bowlers going for a few runs, the spinners have managed to restrict the scoring effectively.

Overall run rate and economy rate
Team Matches played Run-rate Economy rate Run-rate difference
England 5 7.93 6.88 1.05
Sri Lanka 5 7.85 7.19 0.66

England's opening pair of Craig Kieswetter and Michael Lumb have been aggressive in the beginning of the innings all through the tournament, which is reflected in the high scoring rate in the Powerplay overs. Sri Lanka have been boosted by the exceptional batting of Mahela Jayawardene, but he hasn't received much support at the top of the order.

Batting performance in the Powerplay overs
Team Runs scored Balls faced  Run rate Wickets lost Average
England 259 180 8.63 7 37.00
Sri lanka 228 180 7.60 8 28.50

Eoin Morgan and Luke Wright have provided the much-needed fireworks in the late overs for England. Morgan, in particular, has been outstanding with a strike rate of close to 150 in the death overs. Sri Lanka have scored at a fast clip in the final overs with contributions from Jayawardene and, more recently, Chamara Kapugedera, whose quickfire 37 enabled them to topple India in their final Super Eight game.

Batting performance in the last six overs
Team Runs scored Balls faced Run rate Wickets lost Average
England 266 172 9.27 14 19.00
Sri Lanka 244 158 9.26 13 18.76

Sri Lanka have their noses ahead when it comes to bowling performance in the Powerplay overs. While England have been very economical with Bresnan conceding only a little over five runs per over and Stuart Broad offering excellent support, Sri Lanka have also managed to pick up more wickets in the early overs. Angelo Matthews and Lasith Malinga, with their excellent change of pace, have proved extremely difficult to get away even with the fielding restrictions in place.

Bowling performance in the Powerplay overs
Team Runs conceded Balls bowled  Economy rate Wickets taken Average
England 191 177 6.47 6 31.83
Sri Lanka 195 183 6.39 9 21.66

One bad game against Australia messed up the bowling stats of Sri Lanka in the last few overs, which have otherwise been quite impressive. Malinga, in particular, has managed to curtail the scoring rate superbly with his yorkers and slower balls. England have bowled the final few overs extremely well too, with Ryan Sidebottom picking up six wickets at an economy rate of 6.60 per over in the final overs.

Bowling performance in the last six overs
Team Runs conceded Balls bowled Economy rate Wickets taken Average
England 133 109 7.32 12 11.08
Sri Lanka 228 149 9.18 12 19.00

The tables below list the performances of fast bowlers and spinners for England and Sri Lanka. The fast bowlers for England have been top class with Bresnan leading the way, and their performances are bettered only by the Australian pace attack. Sri Lanka's fast bowling department hasn't been as good. Matthews has been top-class, but Malinga has been more expensive than usual, going at over 7.5 runs per over.

Sri Lankan spinners, though, haves been much better than their fast bowlers and have picked up ten wickets while conceding less than seven runs per over. Ajantha Mendis has been slightly expensive in the last two games while Suraj Randiv impressed with a fine bowling performance against Australia. For England, Swann and Yardy have been consistent throughout with Swann picking up eight wickets and Yardy being among the most economical bowlers in the tournament.

Performance of pace and spin bowlers for England
Type of bowler Runs conceded Balls bowled  Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Pace 294 248 7.11 15 19.60
Spin 107 84 7.64 8 13.37

Performance of pace and spin bowlers for Sri Lanka
Type of bowler Runs conceded Balls bowled  Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Pace 362 281 7.72 14 25.85
Spin 262 228 6.89 10 26.20

The pitch in St Lucia hasn't offered the kind of pace and bounce that was seen Barbados, but fast bowlers have still done better than spinners here. The difference in economy rates isn't much, but the fast and medium-fast bowlers have taken more wickets than the spinners.

Pace vs Spin at St Lucia
Type of bowler Economy rate Wickets taken Average
Pace 7.48 61 20.42
Spin 7.95 34 32.08

The table below summarises the performances of the top batsmen of each team. Jayawardene has had an extraordinary tournament, but his scores have dropped in the last couple of games leading to the semi-final. Kumar Sangakkara, though, has started to find better form, which has reduced the onus on Jayawardene, and will boost a line-up which is fairly top heavy.

For England, Kevin Pietersen and Morgan have been the stars. Pietersen has scored half-centuries against Pakistan and South Africa in the Super Eights and Morgan has consistently proved to be a good finisher. Paul Collingwood is due some runs, though: in five innings he has only managed 39.

Top batsmen for both teams
Batsman Runs scored Balls faced Scoring rate Average
Mahela Jayawardene 292 180 9.73 73.00
Kumar Sangakkara 123 103 7.16 24.60
Eoin Morgan 166 127 7.84 33.20
Kevin Pietersen 159 123 7.75 53.00

In a knockout game the captain winning the toss might be tempted to bat, but the stats at this ground are pretty even. There have been eight games played at St Lucia and four games have been won by the team batting first and four by the team chasing. The average run rate is exactly the same, while there's only a marginal difference in the averages.

Batting first vs Chasing at St Lucia
Team Innings Runs scored Balls faced Run rate Wickets lost Average
1st innings 1229 954 7.72 54 22.75
2nd innings 1162 902 7.72 48 24.20