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Buttler top batsman the value bet for England v Sri Lanka T20 International

| 05.07.2016

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | July 4, 2016

England v Sri Lanka

  • Tuesday, July 5th
  • Play starts: 18:30 BST
  • Ageas Bowl, near Southampton (Hampshire CCC)
  • Live on Sky Sports 2

Sri Lanka to be sent home winless

It has been an utterly fruitless Summer Tour for Sri Lanka over in England, and their form has been so poor that half-fit captain Angelo Mathews has felt the need to apologise on behalf of his teammates.

All-rounder Mathews took to Twitter to say: “There will be some who will hate us, some will still love us. Sorry for letting you down. It is tough times but will come back hard.”

The tough times are set to continue, however, with the tourists 9/4 outsiders with Coral to win their final cricket contest with England (1/3), which is a T20 International held on the outskirts of Southampton.

Only South Africa and the West Indies have beaten Trevor Bayliss’ men in this shortest form of the game in 2016, and there is little to suggest the Sri Lankans can join them as Twnety20 victors over their hosts.

T20s tailor-made for big-hitter Buttler

With Joe Root rested and Pakistan still to tour England this summer, there is the chance for Middlesex batsman Dawid Malan to stake a claim for a squad spot in Twenty20 Internationals.

Surrey v Middlesex - Specsavers County Championship - Division One - Day One - Kia Oval

If you fancy the debutant to lead the way at the crease, then Malan is made the subject of a fabulous 5/1 wincast for Bayliss’ boys. The same price is available, however, on wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler being England top scorer.

Root and opener Jason Roy apart, Buttler has the best average (almost 31 runs) in the seven T20 Internationals England have played since their Winter Tour of South Africa came to a close in February.

Bearing that and some big recent One Day knocks in mind, a fantastic 5/1 on proven performer Buttler being best home team batsman looks a far safer bet.

Willey the in-form bowler for limited overs

Using both the recent One Day International series (five completed innings towards four results) and those seven previous T20s as a guide, Yorkshire paceman David Willey has taken 10 victims apiece in these shorter forms of cricket.

England v Sri Lanka - Royal London One Day International Series - Third One Day International - County Ground

At his most impressive last time out in the final One Day game with figures of 4-34, Willey is thus a worthy 11/4 joint-favourite in the best England bowler market alongside county teammate and leg break spinner Adil Rashid.

Chris Jordan has proved to be the most expensive bowling regular at Bayliss’ disposal in both limited overs contests, but did the most damage at the recent World Twenty20 when England last faced Sri Lanka in India.

Although conditions are different at home, punters should not lose sight of the fact he recorded a career-best 4-28 when previously paired with this opposition. Jordan’s economy isn’t great, but he is a 7/2 chance to be England’s best with the ball here.

Get on Gunathilaka for tourists

Sri Lanka’s vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal top scored in two of his last three innings during the One Day series, but he is carrying a hamstring problem like touring skipper Mathews.

England v Sri Lanka - Royal London One Day International Series - Second One Day International - Edgbaston

In Twenty20 cricket, there is no room for caution, so both are best avoided in the best Sri Lankan batsman market until they recover. Opener Danushka Gunathilaka has put some decent scores on the board, so could be worth a punt at 4/1.

He also took 3-48 with the ball, somewhat catching England by surprise. If given the opportunity to demonstrate his off-break style again the Ageas Bowl, then Gunathilaka is also worth a flutter at 5/1 to be best Sri Lankan bowler.

Should punters not fancy a gamble on Gunathilaka, there’s usual suspects Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal at 3/1 apiece in the same market.


Check out our cricket section for coverage of Sri Lanka and Pakistan’s Summer Tours of England.

Coral’s top tip: With Root rested, Buttler really is a brilliant bet at 5/1 to be best England batsman.

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Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.