Cricket England v Sri Lanka – third test match preview
Date – 9th June to 13th June
Start time – 11.00 am
Ground – Lord’s
England – 1.43
Sri Lanka – 15.0
Draw – 4.1
Met Office weather forecast
Thursday – bright with sunny intervals
Friday – cloudy but dry
Saturday – possible rain early then dry with some sunny spells
Sunday – dry morning and early afternoon, sunshine and showers late afternoon
Monday – sunshine and showers
Having been thoroughly pummelled in the first 2 tests in the northern outposts of the sport, Sri Lanka face England in the final test of the series at Lord’s. Perhaps I should say fortress Lord’s as Sri Lanka have never lost at the home of cricket. Yes, I accept that they have never won either but seven draws out of seven is a formidable statistic and they have shown tremendous guts and determination in the past to maintain that unbeaten record.
On the basis of all known form and recent statistics, England should win this match as comfortably as their 2/5 odds suggest. As with the 2nd test, I couldn’t put off people who like to bet at short prices from backing England as there are, no doubt, many worse 2/5 bets available. However, without knowing how the pitch will perform, I will not be amongst the England backers.
England, late injuries aside, are going with the same team that won the 2nd test, ie Finn and Compton are retained. Finn looks out of sorts and down on pace. Some of the recent Lord’s pitches have been batting paradises. On such pitches, Broad and Anderson can look ineffective and, with concerns about Finn, it may be that England may struggle to dismiss Sri Lanka twice, particularly following their confidence boosting performance in the second innings of the second test. Add weather concerns in the forecast and a draw looks possible. However, the market seems to have got the betting on the draw about right at around 3/1 and I am not tempted at this price.
Sri Lanka are 14/1, which looks a big price but their bowling attack looks distinctly lightweight and it seems inconceivable that they could dismiss the strong England batting line up twice.
Now that Cook has passed his 10,000 test run milestone, he can relax and assume his normal role of accumulating vast amounts of runs, particularly against an attack that holds few terrors. If the pitch is like it is normally for a test match then the odds on Cook being the highest England 1st innings run scorer look tempting at 3.7/1 (Betfair).