Moeen Ali
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England look to bounce back after Sri Lanka loss in second ODI

| 28.11.2014

Colombo’s Sinhalese Sports Club Ground will again stage a One Day International (ODI) contest between England and Sri Lanka.

The hosts won the first match by 25 runs after posting 317-6 and bowling England out for 292, despite Moeen Ali’s brilliant innings of 119 from just 87 balls.

Worcestershire all-rounder Ali scored England’s third-fastest ODI century, after Jos Buttler and Kevin Pietersen. He also offers with the ball, as he took the always vital wicket of Kumar Sangakkara when he was on just two and ended up spinning his way to figures of 1-66 from his 10 overs.

Whilst others are looking over their shoulders wondering if they will be included for the forthcoming World Cup, Ali may well have just assured himself of a place. Coral have England’s new superstar at 3/1 to top score once again, and 4/1 to return with the best bowling figures for his country.

However, there are more woes for captain Alastair Cook. After successfully reviewing two huge LBW appeals in the first over of England’s innings, Cook scraped his way to 10 before falling victim to Tillakaratne Dilshan’s part time off breaks.

Due to the Essex man’s recent One Day form and style of batting, there have been renewed calls for him to resign his post before the World Cup early next year. Cook will know this and hope his game comes back to him as it did during last summer’s Test series against India.

Another man who will be starting to worry is Ben Stokes. The New Zealand-born all-rounder seems to still be living off his fantastic century at Perth during last year’s Ashes mauling.

Stokes failed with the bat on Wednesday after naively attempting to slog Rangana Herath seemingly every ball, where a more experienced player might have looked to find the gaps and push for singles.

Herath eventually had Stokes stumped and the 23-year-old’s reaction showed his obvious frustration. The Durham man only bowled four out of a possible 10 overs at an economy rate of nine.

Stokes will be looking for more to cement his place in England’s World Cup squad as his talent is unquestionable. Coral have odds of 6/1 that Stokes will return to his aggressive best.

Sri Lanka will want to avenge their recent 5-0 series loss to India and continue their own preparations for the World Cup, the tournament in which they’ve been runners-up at for the last two competitions.

England will be looking to be their professional best. Back them at 11/8 to level the series at 1-1 with five matches still to play.



Peter Kelly