Key battles from Sri Lanka – England match from Group 1
In an important fixture at Feroz Shah Kotla, England will take on the defending champions, Sri Lanka in their last match of the ICC World Twenty20 2016. England is currently No. 2 in the Group 1 behind West Indies, whereas Sri Lanka is at No. 4. If England wins this one against the Islanders, they will be through to the semi-finals. On the other side, this is a must win game for Sri Lanka. Let’s take a look at some of the key battles from the match:
Tillakaratne Dilshan vs Alex Hales
One of the most dynamic opener in Sri Lankan cricket history after Sanath Jayasuriya, T Dilshan is an exciting player in all three formats of cricket. In the absence of the likes of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, a lot of responsibility lies on the shoulder of Dilshan to take his side to the semis. In the first match of World T20 against Afghanistan, he scored a brilliant 83* that helped SL to comfortably win the match. But, in the second match against Windies, Dilshan was out cheaply on a low score of 12, Sri Lanka ended up on the losing side.
Alex Hales is a quintessential T20 batsman who is known for his destructive ability to demolish the best of the bowling attacks. With a strike rate of over 135, Hales is definitely a player which Sri Lanka would like to keep at bay at the start of the innings. Though, the 6 ft 5 inches tall lad from Middlesex hasn’t really struck form so far in this tournament. He scored only 45 runs in his first two matches against West Indies and South Africa which is certainly not enough as per his standards.
Angelo Mathews vs Ben Stokes
A good all-rounder is a boon in any format of cricket. Sri Lanka’s skipper, Angelo Mathews is a perfect utility player in T20 cricket. Till now, defending champions Sri Lanka’s campaign in the ICC World Twenty20 2016 has been really patchy and not been up to the mark. In a crucial contest against a strong English side, the onus will be on the Lankan captain to lead from the front. Mathews is known for his solid batting technique and his accuracy with the ball, his athleticism on the field is also worth watching. Against an explosive batting line-up like England, Mathews below seven economy rate with the ball will surely be tested.
Ben Stokes is so often been compared to the great Sir Ian Botham for his outstanding current form in test matches. But Stokes hasn’t really replicated his good form for England in the ongoing ICC World Twenty20 2016. Neither with the bat nor with the ball has Stokes been able to perform at the big stage. Despite having a daunting strike rate of 143.02 in T20 internationals, Stokes has managed to score only 37 runs in last three matches (against WI, SA, Afghanistan). With the ball as well, Ben hasn’t really provided any crucial breaks to England, he has picked up only one wicket in the whole tournament so far. If England wants to book a semi’s spot tonight, Stokes need to take the responsibility to take them forward.
Rangana Herath vs Adil Rashid
ICC World Twenty20 2016 is being played in the sub-continent conditions, thus, the role of spinners and slow-ball bowlers becomes extremely critical in this tournament. At the age of 38, Rangana Herath is the finest exponent of spin bowling Lanka have in their ranks. In the first two matches against Afghanistan and West Indies, Herath managed to get only two wickets for SL. In a big match against England, a lot will be expected from the crafty leg-spinner. Herath’s economy rate of around 6 in T20 internationals will pose a big challenge to the aggressive England batsman.
A young spinner from Yorkshire, Adil Rashid has so far had a decent tournament as a bowler for England. Rashid has grabbed four wickets in the last three matches for England. In fact, he picked up his career best figures of 2/18 in T20 internationals against Afghanistan in the last match. Rashid’s bowling will be under scanner against Sri Lanka as Lankans are known to handle spin more efficiently than most of the cricket playing nations. Testing times for Rashid!