England must find a way to beat an in-form Sri Lankan side or they could be heading for an abrupt exit from the ICC World Twenty20. A full game would surely help their cause for starters.
Weather intervened at a horrible time for Stuart Broad’s side in their opening tie against New Zealand who capitalised on the Duckworth-Lewis formula to snatch the win. It was definitely a bitter pill to swallow as England had given themselves a fighting chance in the match having posted a challenging total of 172.
That most of their top-order batsmen were among the runs was definitely a huge positive they could take from the game. But if the 2010 world champions are to beat Sri Lanka, they aren’t going to do it with just the bat.
And that’s where their task becomes a bit complicated as England’s bowling has been their weak link in the limited overs format. There is experience in the form of the skipper himself, Tim Bresnan and off spinner James Tredwell who is unlikely to find spinning conditions any more favourable than these.
Having not had a full work-out against the Kiwis, though, will play into the hands of the Lankan batsmen. The veteran Tillakaratne Dilshan in particular will be anxious to get among the runs following his return to the side from injury, after missing out against South Africa and not having much to do against the Netherlands.
From England’s perspective, the young all-rounder Chris Jordan looks a promising talent. I’ve said it earlier, a player like him could not ask for a better stage than this to make a name for himself at international level.
We are pretty much at the business end of the tournament now where net run-rate could eventually prove decisive. Which is why, South Africa will be looking to match if not better Sri Lanka’s demolition job of the Netherlands in today’s other fixture.
The Proteas’ thrilling final over win over New Zealand must surely have come as a tremendous psychological boost for a side unfortunately renowned for ‘choking’ at the death.
And what a final over it was from Dale Steyn. I must say that in a situation where we would normally expect the batsman to have the last word, it was thoroughly refreshing to watch a bowler come up trumps for a change.