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Sri Lanka vs England Only T20I Preview



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

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England’s limited overs tour of Sri Lanka has taken very similar shape to South Africa’s recent visit.

After three England wins, as many as South Africa picked up, Sri Lanka then found success in the dead rubber. In South Africa’s tour, Sri Lanka went to win the only T20I, and will be looking for more of the same.

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The disappointing aspect of Sri Lanka’s 219-run win in the final ODI is why it takes the side to play without fear only when the result doesn’t matter. The batting and bowling both fired in unison, which is a rarity for Sri Lanka in ODIs, and now they will be looking to transfer that sort of form over to the only T20I. With four wins out of seven this year, can Sri Lanka build on their last T20I effort vs South Africa, as well as their huge win in the fifth ODI vs England?

Eoin Morgan was livid at England’s performance in the fifth ODI, despite it being a dead-rubber. Morgan has helped instill a sense of accountability in the England set up, and despite the heavy loss, England’s limited overs prowess is still clearly evident. England have had a little bit of a rocky 2018 in T20Is, missing out on the Tri-Series Final involving Australia and New Zealand, as well as losing 2-1 to India at home in their last assignment. Can they end the limited overs leg of the Sri Lanka tour on a high?

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Key to a Sri Lanka win

A key cog to Sri Lanka’s hopes is Kusal Mendis, who stormed back into form with a 30-ball 50 in the fifth ODI on Tuesday. With four T20I half centuries to his name already in 2018, Mendis has a key role in delivering a strong start for Sri Lanka, along with the likes of Niroshan Dickwella and Dinesh Chandimal.

We all saw what happened when Sri Lanka had a strong start with the bat. Can they do it again?

Also, in their last T20I assignment, Sri Lanka’s spinners tormented South Africa when they knocked them over for 98. The bowlers then tormented England in the fifth ODI, with Dushmantha Chameera and Akila Dananjaya the chief destroyers. Can Sri Lanka build pressure against a hard-hitting England line up?

Key to an England win

Coming off their heaviest ever defeat (by runs) in ODIs, can England prove that it was simply a one-off bad day?
Such is England’s strength that Joe Root could miss out in T20Is again, and with a top order that comprises of Roy, Buttler, Hales and Morgan, England have the firepower to deliver. Much like Sri Lanka, the performance of the top order in setting a platform for the middle order is vital.
Also, Chris Jordan will be key especially at the death, but who will deliver early wickets for England? Tom Curran had strong moments in the ODIs, and Liam Plunkett will be better for the run in the fifth ODI. How England’s seamers and spinners work in tandem to build pressure on Sri Lanka will be key.

Possible XIs

Sri Lanka: 1. Sadeera Samarawickrama, 2. Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 3. Kusal Mendis, 4. Dinesh Chandimal, 5. Dhananjaya de Silva, 6. Dasun Shanaka, 7. Thisara Perera (c), 8. Isuru Udana, 9. Lasith Malinga, 10. Amila Aponso, 11. Dushmantha Chameera
England: 1. Jason Roy, 2. Jos Buttler (wk), 3. Alex Hales, 4. Eoin Morgan (c), 5. Joe Denly, 6. Ben Stokes, 7. Moeen Ali, 8. Chris Jordan, 9. Liam Plunkett, 10. Adil Rashid, 11. Tom Curran

Stats and Facts

  • Sri Lanka have lost three of their last four T20Is at Colombo – the last being a fiery game against Bangladesh in the Nidahas Trophy.
  • Joe Denly’s last appearance for England was in 2010.
  • Sri Lanka beat South Africa in their last T20I, whereas England lost to India.


As an Australian, it’s always nice seeing the old enemy lose.
Unfortunately, rain is expected to play a key factor again, but if there is a result, I will go for England as their prowess can’t be ignored after one defeat.
Thanks for reading!
P.S., I have partnered with the absolutely amazing team at, the most comprehensive Online Cricket Store you’ll see. Through me, you can enjoy discounts on 700+ products through a single code. Find out more today here.

Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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