Hosts Sri Lanka take on England in the second and final Test of the series at the Galle International Stadium starting this Friday.
Sri Lanka were incredibly poor with the bat in the first innings of the last Test. Despite the defeat, they will take confidence from their response in the second innings, where they made England work hard to win the game. A win here would level the series and avoid a series whitewash for Sri Lanka.
Batting first, the Sri Lankan batting line-up got dismissed for only 135 runs. However, they put up a spirited batting show in the second innings to score 359 runs. L Thirumanne led the charge by scoring 111 runs, while A Mathews and K Perera scored vital half centuries. D Karunaratne is not available for this match, and K Mendis is expected to be replaced by Roshan Silva. D Perera, W Hasaranga, and Lasith Embuldeniya are likely to be the three frontline spinners on the team.
England registered a comprehensive victory in the first Test to take a lead of 1-0 in the 2-Test series. Despite a wobble at the start of the second innings that saw them fall to 14/3 while chasing only 74, they eased their way to victory on the fifth morning of the Test.
J Root scored a double century (228 runs) in the first innings as England posted a massive total of 421 runs. J Bairstow and debutant D Lawrence made vital contributions with the bat in both the innings. Spinners J Leach and D Bess picked up 14 wickets collectively and will be key once again in these conditions. S Curran, S Broad, and M Wood are likely to be rested for the match, and C Woakes, O Stone, and J Anderson are expected to replace them.
With 60 Test Championship points and a series at stake, expect another cracking game of Test cricket at the Galle International Stadium.
- Match: Sri Lanka vs. England, 2nd Test
- Venue: Galle International Stadium, Galle
- Date & Time: Jan. 22, 2021, at 10 AM IST
Probable Playing XI
K Perera, L Thirimanne, R Silva, D Chandimal (C), A Matthews, N Dickwella (WK), D Shanaka, W Hasaranga, D Perera, L Embuldeniya, A Fernando
D Sibley, Z Crawley, J Bairstow, J Root (C), D Lawrence, J Buttler (WK), C Woakes, D Bess, O Stone, J Anderson, J Leach
Weather and Pitch Report
The weather is expected to be clear and sunny on all days of the match. Occasional thunderstorms and showers are expected on the first two days. The temperature will be around 30 degrees during the game.
Galle is a typical subcontinental wicket that is expected to assist the spinners more than the pacers. The batsmen will find it easier to bat on the first three days of the match. The average first innings score in the last five Tests on this ground has been 350 runs.
Batting first and putting up a big score is always the best option in the subcontinent conditions. Expect the captain winning the toss to opt to bat first.
- K Perera scored a half century in his usual flamboyant style in the second innings after getting dismissed cheaply in the first innings. He scores runs quickly and can put the England spinners under pressure right from the start of the match.
- A Mathews is the most experienced player on the Sri Lankan team and looked at ease in the first Test. He scored 27 and 71 in the two innings and stayed at the crease for a long duration. He will look to continue his good form and play a big innings in this match.
- L Embuldeniya looked the most threatening of the three Sri Lankan spinners in the last match. He had figures of 3/176 and 2/29 in the two innings. He will look to pick wickets and trouble the English batsmen here too.
- J Root announced his return to form in great fashion as he scored a brilliant double century (228) to set up the game for England. He was decisive with his footwork against the spinners and did not miss out on scoring opportunities. He will look to do the same in this Test as well.
- J Bairstow’s return to the Test team was a fruitful one as he made important contributions (47 and 35*) in both the innings for England. He is naturally an aggressive player and will look to dictate the bowling as long as he is at the crease.
- J Leach picked up his second 5-wicket haul in Test cricket in the second innings of the first Test. He bowled good lines and forced the Sri Lankan batsmen to make mistakes. He will play an important role for the visitors in this Test too.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeepers: K Perera, J Buttler
- Batsmen: D Chandimal, A Matthews, J Bairstow, D Lawrence, J Root
- All-rounders: W Hasaranga
- Bowlers: L Embuldeniya, J Leach, D Bess
- Captain: K Perera/D Chandimal
- Vice Captain: J Bairstow/J Leach
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play real cricket online matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.
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