LAST CHANCE FOR SRI LANKA; ENGLAND LIKELY TO MAKE CHANGES

Published : 10:23 am  July 5, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (583) reads | 

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Tymal Mills and Dawid Malan are in contention to make their international debuts as England take on Sri Lanka in a T20I at the Rose Bowl in Southampton today. The hosts have already secured victory in both the Test and ODI series without losing a game, making the sole T20 Sri Lanka’s final chance to pick up a win over England on the tour. Following the Test and ODI series defeats Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews acknowledged that this was a “tough time” as a captain but added that he would not step down. “There will be good times as well as bad.

This is a tough time for me as a captain and for the whole unit but you can’t run away from it,” Mathews said. “I’m pretty sure if we keep improving day by day we can come out of this hole. For the past two months we’ve been having the same problems, either batting, bowling or fielding has let us down in every single game. Especially in the one-dayers, we needed a perfect day to win against England. We didn’t have that perfect game and we paid the price.” He also tweeted an apology to fans saying, “There will be some who will hate us, some will still love us. Sorry for letting you down. It is tough times but will come back hard.” The sides last met in this format during the World T20 earlier this year with England coming out on top by 10 runs despite Angelo Mathews’ unbeaten knock of 73 from 54 balls. England will be without a number of key players on this occasion with Ben Stokes still out with a knee injury and Joe Root, Alex Hales and Moeen Ali rested. However, England captain Eoin Morgan believes that their replacements — Mills and Malan — have earned their chance and hinted that at least one of them will be handed their debut against Sri Lanka. “It helps that both squads [ODI and T20] are very similar and for this particular game, the guys who play all three formats have been rested,” he said.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for them to take a rest and a good opportunity to look at another couple of faces.” “Obviously, having Tymal and Dawid – they’ve rightly earned their positions. Dawid has scored a lot of runs over the last two or so years in county cricket and Tymal is bowling pretty quick at the moment. Hopefully we’ll get a look at one of them, or maybe both of them, tomorrow.” Morgan said he was “excited” by what Mills can bring to the team but warned against putting the left-arm quick under too much pressure. (SKY SPORTS)