Pallekele (Sri Lanka): Sep 30, 2012
Their semifinal chances hanging by the thread, defending champions England are faced with a must-win situation as they take on unbeaten hosts Sri Lanka in a crucial Super Eight match of the ICC World Twenty20 on Monday.
England, after a win and a loss, have to clinch it against Sri lanka to have any chance of making the last-four stage.
If Stuart Broad's men lose tomorrow, it would be certain elimination as Sri Lanka and West Indies, if they beat New Zealand tomorrow, would go through at their expense.
England beat New Zealand in their previous match with Steven Finn and Luke Wright playing important roles. Finn achieved his as well as England's best figures in the ICC World Twenty20 -- three for 16 -- before Wright hit a 43-ball 76.
But Sri Lanka is no New Zealand and Broad acknowledged that his team have a tough task at hand.
"It will be an electric atmosphere for us on Monday and it will be important for us to keep our composure," said Broad after the win yesterday.
"It will be loud, it will be hectic and there will be a lot of fans shouting for Sri Lanka but that will be exciting for us."
Even though the batting clicked against New Zealand, the English still seem to be missing that one aggressor who can rescue them in tight situations.
The bowlers have finally got a grip of the conditions even though spinner Graeme Swann hasn't quite delivered for the team.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are a team on a roll. Mahela Jayawardene's men hardly broke a sweat as they thrashed the aggressive West Indians last night to put one step into the semifinals.
In-form batsmen, disciplined bowlers, along with massive home support make Sri Lankans a formidable team going into the knockout stage of the tournament.
Jayawardene himself has been in fine form but a big one is due from Tillakaratne Dilshan.
The bowlers have all performed well as expected in home conditions and the islanders do look the favourites against defending champions.(PTI)
Sri Lanka (Probable): Mahela Jayawardene (c), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Jeevan Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis.
England (Probable): Craig Kieswetter (wk), Alex Hales, Luke Wright, Jonathan Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad (c), Graeme Swann, Danny Briggs, Steven Finn.
Time: 19.30 local (19.30 IST)