|Sri Lanka||+200 at William Hill||Place Bet|
|Draw||+300 at William Hill||Place Bet|
|England||+100 at William Hill||Place Bet|
SRI Lanka came into this series with hopes of repeating what they did to South Africa back in July.
Now, there is only pride left to play for as the hosts stare down the barrel of a 3-0 whitewash.
They have been competitive, and perhaps things would have been different if Dinesh Chandimal had not torn his groin in Galle.
The undermanned Lankans came within 57 runs of victory in the second Test, but that result threw up more questions than answers.
While coach Chandika Hathurusingha has pinned the blame on lacklustre fielding, others point to an absence of resolve with the bat.
The scorecards from the first two Tests show plenty of solid 60s and impressive 80s, but none of the home side’s batsmen have dug in and reached triple figures.
That is in stark contrast to England, who have found runs exactly where and when they needed them.
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Ben Foakes turned the tide in Galle with a critical century on debut, followed by a big knock from Keaton Jennings in the second innings.
Joe Root was the star in Kandy, posting his 15th Test century in difficult conditions for batting.
That game was also notable for the outstanding efforts of England’s three spinners, who claimed 19 of the 20 wickets on offer.
Jack Leach topped the pops with eight for the match, while Moeen Ali leads the series bowling charts with 14 victims at 21.00.
Akila Dananjaya has starred for Sri Lanka, but the offspinner will skip the third Test to undergo testing on a suspect bowling action.
He is replaced by the uncapped Nishan Peiris, who played in a trio of warm-up games earlier in the tour.
Moeen Ali betting tips
|Man of the match||+700||+700||+700|
|Top England bowler||+200||+175||+250|
|Top England batsman||+700||+650||+700|
|To score 50||–||+300||+225|
|To score 100||–||+1400||+900|
Root and Leach grabbed the headlines last time out, but this guy is shaping up as a serious contender in Player of the Series betting at UK bookmakers.
Ali followed up his eight wickets at Galle with another six at Pallekele, all at a rate of one victim every 36.4 deliveries.
There is no reason to suspect he won’t deliver more of the same in Colombo this week.
From a punter’s perspective, however, the most dangerous thing about Moeen is the enormous upside in his batting.
One wonders if the Worcestershire allrounder would have contributed more than his current tally of 23 runs if he had started the series at number six, rather than shuffling down from first drop.
But we all know what Ali is capable of with willow in hand, especially in the flatter, slower conditions of the Asian subcontinent.
The 31-year-old from Birmingham is a very sound option for top England wicket-taker and Man of the Match, and don’t rule out runs if the visitors bat first.
Match specials at WilliamHill.com
- England win/highest opening partnership – +200
- England win/Moeen Ali top bowler – +400
- England win/Joe Root top batsman – +550
Sri Lanka vs. England betting predictions
Sri Lanka’s problems run much deeper than final score in Kandy would appear to suggest.
Their fielding was always a concern at even the best of times, but this crop is lacking leadership and direction with Chandimal out injured and Rangana Herath recently retired.
England, on the other hand, have shown real character and no little class, with old heads and new ones both pulling out big performances when required.
As such, we are backing the tourists to seal out a historic 3-0 series win.
England to win – +100 at William Hill
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