England will be looking to reclaim top spot in the ICC Cricket World Cup standings on Friday and there is little evidence to suggest Sri Lanka will stop them when the two sides clash at Headingley.
After a tournament that has been affected plenty by the weather, it was perhaps befitting that a deluge of sixes lit up the tournament on Tuesday in a record-breaking performance from an England side flexing their muscles ahead of some key fixtures ahead.
Sri Lanka will not be seen as one of those, a mere warm-up for defining clashes against Australia, India and New Zealand – the other three sides currently in the top four – to round off England’s group campaign.
The weather is not forecast to interfere with a full 50-over game, which surely plays into England’s hands, but their odds of 2/35 reflect an expected dominance, if not exaggerate it.
Sri Lanka may have their supporters at 6/1 given the fact the hosts have already suffered a surprise defeat to Pakistan, but that is more of a romantic desire as half of their points have come from two no results, with their only success earned against bottom-of-the-table Afghanistan.
Still, hopes of a semi-final place are in their own hands and they will be going for the victory, but whether or not they have the tools to down England is very much open to question.
England did beat Sri Lanka over all three formats only last winter, while they have not lost at Headingley in the last eight years.
With the match betting on a home win certainly prohibitive on the tournament hosts, a look at the man-of-the-match market shows plenty of value.
Captain Eoin Morgan appears to be the man of the moment after his blistering onslaught against Afghanistan – and may well catch the eye at 12/1 – but a lot may depend on which team wins the toss and there is justifiable reason going with the favourite.
Joe Root is head and shoulders above the rest of his team-mates in the run-scoring charts, having scored two hundreds among his tally of 367 to give him a 118-run lead.
He should definitely get a bat as well, regardless of the match situation, as he is slated to come in at three, while he may also get the chance to bowl as another string to his bow and has taken two wickets in the tournament.
England’s twin pace attack of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood has been doing the bulk of the damage for the hosts with the ball in hand, taking 21 wickets between them.
Given an earlier injury scare to Wood and his troublesome ankle, England may opt to rest him, with bigger fish to fry on the horizon, and Archer stands out at 49/20.