Jason Roy and Alex Hales shared a record 256 run partnership in the second ODI © Getty Images
Jason Roy and Alex Hales shared a record 256 run partnership in the second ODI © Getty Images

Sri Lanka’s tour to England will continue as the teams will take on each other in the third One-Day International (ODI) of the five-match series in Bristol. The hosts head into this fixture with upper-hand, thanks to their record win in the previous game. Sri Lanka on the other hand will be quite disappointed with their display in the second ODI, considering they nearly won the first game, before it ended in a tie. Another win for England, and they will be assured of not losing the ODI series. As for Sri Lanka, they are seeking their first win against the hosts on this tour. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: England vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI match

The visitors are going through a tough period in terms of injury, with both skipper Angelo Mathews and wicketkeeper Dinesh Chandimal being uncertain for the fixture. England on the other hand have no such issues, and come into this game on the back of 10-wicket win. With much at stake for both the teams, we take a look at the key clashes between the two sides.

1. Alex Hales vs Suranga Lakmal: Confidence is on Alex Hales’ side, who scored an unbeaten 133 in the last game, and also went past 1000 runs in ODIs. In terms of form, he is one of the most in-form batsmen in the side. Prior to the ODI series, he amassed 80+ runs in each of the three Tests. It will be interesting to see how Lakmal fairs against him. In the second ODI, where every bowler was taken for plenty, Lakmal stood out with his control. A good contest between bat and ball!

2. Dinesh Chandimal vs Adil Rashid: One of the senior-most members in the side, Chandimal has shown responsibility in the tour. Having scored a century in the Test series and recently an half century in the second ODI, he will be confident. It is unclear though, whether he will be a certain starter or not. Up against him will be the spinning option of England, Rashid Ali. In a pace dominated attack, Rashid’s role is to keep things quiet and grab a wicket or two. If Chandimal does start, then expect him to face a lot of Rashid.

3. Joe Root vs Nuwan Pradeep: One of the best batsmen in the international arena, Root has had a very ordinary time against Sri Lanka. In the Tests, he had a total of 179 runs in four innings, and had a failure in the first ODI, scoring just two runs. For Sri Lanka, Nuwan Pradeep was one of the better bowlers in the Test series, scalping 10 wickets. His role is that of wicket-taking, and he goes about his business really. If he can somehow remove Root for a low score, his team’s chances of winning will increase. On the flip side, should Root get going, it will be a long evening for Pradeep and co.

4. Kusal Perera vs Liam Plunkett: Kusal Perera has been really impressive since his comeback to international cricket. After six months of absence, Perera returned in the final Test against England, and scored a well-made 42. Even in the first two ODIs, he has got of to electrifying starts, but just hasn’t got a big one. Tasked to keep him quiet will be up to Liam Plunkett. The bowling all-rounder has scalped two wickets in each game. If Sri Lanka need to get runs on the board, Perera will need to convert the start into a big score.

5. Jason Roy vs Farveez Maharoof: The other half of the opening pair, Jason Roy also made his mark in the previous game with an unbeaten century. A player who doesn’t have the greatest of stats, Roy would seek the innings as a start of something new. On the other hand, Farveez Maharoof has returned to the Sri Lankan ODI set up after four years. In a bowling unit which is inexperienced, Maharoof will be expected to lead the attack.

(R Narayan is a reporter with CricketCountry, and is an ardent cricket and football enthusiast (big Manchester United fan). Having followed cricket since 2003, he likes high scoring matches as well as good fast bowling. His Twitter handle is @RNarayan24nov)