Sri Lanka all-rounder has a big role to play
Sky Sports Cricket, 10am Wednesday
Sri Lanka's struggles in ODIs are encapsulated by the fact that their five-match series against England starts in Dambulla, where the hosts have lost the last seven completed 50-over games.
The two most recent reverses came against South Africa, who reduced Sri Lanka to 36-5 in the first game and chased down 247 with ease in the second match at the ground.
A new-look top order will hope for a change of fortune with Dinesh Chandimal returning to captain the side and opener Kusal Mendis dropped after a pair of ducks in the Asia Cup defeats to Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
However, it is hard to have much faith in Sri Lanka’s specialist batsmen and they may require some lower-order hitting from all-rounder Thisara Perera to boost their total.
Perera has produced some whole-hearted performances during Sri Lanka’s ODI slump and he often picks up cheap wickets in the death overs.
Bet365’s performance line of 39.5 looks within his scope, with one point awarded per run, ten per catch and 20 per wicket, as the seamer has taken 29 scalps in his last 15 one-dayers.
He has also had a decent impact with the bat, passing 25 in six of his last 11 innings and scoring a couple of half-centuries as well as 49 against the Proteas in Dambulla.
Adil Rashid has been bowling beautifully for the one-day team, picking up 20 wickets in eight ODIs during the English summer after 16 in ten games on last winter’s tours of Australia and New Zealand.
Conditions should suit the Yorkshire leggie even better in this series and he bowled ten tidy overs in the warm-up game, claiming 1-46.
Having dismissed Virat Kohli twice in three ODIs in the summer, Rashid has little to fear from an unsettled Sri Lanka batting line-up.
T Perera to get 40 or more performance points
2pts 5-6 bet365
A Rashid top England wicket-taker
1pt 16-5 Betfred
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