SYDNEY (NewsRadio); Sri Lanka will end its 2022 Twenty20 World Cup campaign in Australia with a game against Australia in Sydney today.
The Group 1 Super 12 encounter will get underway at 1.30pm Sri Lanka time.
As predicted by NewsRadio’s Sports Desk, Sri Lanka could not reach the semi-final of the World Cup.
Sri Lanka’s elimination was confirmed yesterday following victories for New Zealand and Australia over Ireland and Afghanistan respectively.
New Zealand has qualified for the semi-final with a superior net run rate while Australia will be hoping Sri Lanka will be able to beat England today for them to progress to the last four.
Meanwhile, England will be looking to confirm their berth in the semi-finals when they take on Sri Lanka in their final Super 12 encounter today.
The equation is pretty simple for England right now.
A win today will guarantee them a spot in the semi-finals, whereas a loss will bring an end to their journey in this T20 World Cup.
Afghanistan made things much easier for Jos Buttler and his men as they stopped Australia from gaining a significant boost in their NRR yesterday.
So, all England need to do now is ensure a win against Sri Lanka to make it to the final four.
England did look a bit off-colour as a team in their first couple of matches.
Although they started with a five-wicket win against Afghanistan, it wasn’t a convincing performance as the Afghan bowlers made them toil hard to get to the target of 113.
The result in the next match was even worse as they lost to Ireland by five runs (DLS method).
The following match against Australia got washed out and their semi-final hopes started sinking.
But England really looked in their zone against New Zealand.
Jos Buttler struck form with the bat, Alex Hales carried his good form forward and the bowlers delivered a superb performance to restrict the Kiwis to 20 runs short of what they scored.
It was a well-rounded performance and that’s exactly what England need in this do-or-die contest.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are already out of the semi-final race.
They have four points to their name right now and a win here can only take them to six points, which isn’t enough as two teams in their group have already accumulated seven points.
But they will definitely be eager to bow out on a high.
They have nothing to lose now and that in turn could make them a bit adventurous.
It’s probably why England have to tread very carefully against the Asian champions.
Dasun Shanaka’s men are also coming into this contest on the back of a clinical win against Afghanistan.
The bowlers restricted the Afghans to 144/8 and then Sri Lanka chased it down with six wickets and nine deliveries to spare.
They have the confidence and momentum on their side going into this match, and they will try their best to spoil England’s party.
Australia, on the other hand, have their hopes pinned on Sri Lanka as only their victory in this contest can clear their path to the semi-finals.
Predicted Playing XIs
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha
England: Jos Buttler (c & wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Liam Livingstone, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood