England Women vs Sri Lanka Women: Preview and Prediction￼
England is clearly the frontrunner for winning this game and probably the team that most cricket pundits will predict to be playing in the final alongside tournament favorites Australia. They also have the home advantage and to add they have been in red hot form beating South Africa 3-0 in the recently concluded T20I series.
Sri Lanka will start the tournament as the weakest team in the group but would want to reiterate that they belong to the big stage and are not here just to make up the numbers. They would be even more determined after they narrowly missed out on making it to the women’s ODI World Cup due to the qualifying tournament being cancelled due to covid and they were left behind due to lower rankings.
What have they done so far?
England’s players are in form and they showed that during their crushing win over South Africa with senior players Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Katherine Brunt, Nat Sciver and Daniel Wyatt, all looking in good touch.
Sri Lankan will once again depend on a star player and captain Chamari Athapaththu to give them a solid start at the top. She has time and again won them games single-handedly and this time too, she will have to be at the peak of her form if Sri Lanka is to go past England.
Having said that, an individual player can only do so much and the rest of the team will have to step up to the occasion to provide the much-needed impetus to the team. In the recent series too, they were far too dependent on Chamari and looked like a different team when she was playing well, but seem to fall off the rails once they lost her wicket.
On the team front, England has announced a balanced squad, including call-ups to youngsters Alice Capsey and Freya Kemp. There are, however, concerns with their regular captain Heather Knight who was ruled out in the middle of the SA T20I series, as to whether she will be fit in time for the commonwealth games.
In case she misses out, Nat Sciver who led the side in the remaining games is expected to head the mantle. England, though will not be too worried though as they managed to outgun South Africa easily despite Heather’s absence.
In terms of the squad, Sri Lanka will hope that newcomer Vishmi Gunaratne can be the perfect foil to the captain at the top of the order. Their spinners tend to play a huge part in their lineup and though it remains to be seen how the pitches at Birmingham will support spin, they will be hoping that between senior off-spinner Oshadi Ranasinghe and slow left-arm Inoka Ranaweera they can prove to be a handful against the English team.
Head to Head record
The two sides have faced each other eight times in this format of the game, with the Brits stamping their authority over the Sri Lankans winning on each of the eight occasions, leaving Sri Lanka winless in this format. In the most recent fixture in this format between the two teams, England picked up a comprehensive 96-run win.
Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka): When it comes to Sri Lanka, it’s hard to look beyond Chamari Athapaththu. The captain has carried the team on her shoulders and her team would once again hope she can continue the blistering form that she showed against the recently concluded series against India.
And while most of the contribution from the left-handed batter is expected to be with the bat, one can expect her to roll her arm over to provide the odd breakthrough with her off-spinners as well.
Sophie Ecclestone (England): Sophie Ecclestone has been one of the most consistent performers in recent years for England. She had a dream ODI World Cup this year and would have been disappointed to have ended up on the losing side in the final.
She would be looking forward to correcting that in this tournament and would want to begin with a bang. Though England seamers are likely to make early inroads, watch out for her to control the innings in the middle. On top of that, she can be quite handy with the bat as well, though England will be hoping it does not come to that.
Predicted Playing XI
England: Nat Sciver (c), Maia Bouchier, Katherine Brunt, Alice Capsey, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah Glenn, Amy Jones, Freya Kemp, Issy Wong, Danni Wyatt
Sri Lanka: Harshitha Samarawickrama, Vishmi Gunaratne, Chamari Athapathth (c), Nilakshi de Silva, Kavisha Dilhari, Ama Kanchana, Anushka Sanjeewani, Malsha Shehani, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Sugandika Kumari, Inoka Ranaweera
England will head into the fixture as clear favorites to win the game with Sri Lanka never having defeated England in this format of the game. The English side also boasts several top guns and will look to start the CWG games on a winning note. Sri Lanka meanwhile will be keen to cause an upset and register their first win against England in T20Is.