Tuesday, August 3

England v Sri Lanka: first ODI – live! | Sport





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England is bowling




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Preamble

Welcome to County Durham, for England’s first ODI of the local summer, against the exhausted Sri Lankan tourists. I say exhausted because veteran players Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickwella and Danushka Gunathilaka have been sent home after getting a ping for having fun in town after the final T20; You can’t do that when it’s bubbling these days So some drama before a ball is played.

To make matters worse again for the Kusal Perera team is that Avishka Fernando, a serious player in his 50s, broke a quad muscle in the T20s, so they are entering this first ODI in a lot of conflict. Against the world champions, at home, in a series for World Cup Super League points … everything points to a very tough week.

As for the hosts, there is no Ben Stokes or Jos Buttler, the latter ruled out of these three games after injuring a calf in the T20s, but depth of batting is rarely an issue for the Eoin Morgan charges. Sam Billings will take the gloves in place of Jonny Bairstow, who will continue to be one of the most destructive starters in the world.

We are about 25 minutes from the draw on Chester-le-Street. Send me a message anytime during the morning.


www.theguardian.com

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