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Sri Lanka v England: Cook and Morgan’s struggles set to continue

| 02.12.2014

2-0 down in the series, England are hoping a change of venue can reverse their fortunes against Sri Lanka, but that smacks of little more than wishful thinking.

Moving on from Colombo, where Alastair Cook’s men ran their hosts close before being humiliated in the second game, the tour heads to Hambantota, which is new territory for England having never played an ODI there before.

Here are our best three bets for the contest:

Sri Lanka to win @ 1/2

Sri Lanka will be without Mahela Jayawardene for this match, who has requested the game off for personal reasons.

But rather than the in-form batsman’s absence boding well for England, it is quite the opposite, as Sri Lanka have won all of their last five ODIs without Jayawardene in the side.

Alastair Cook to score under 25.5 runs @ 5/6

The calls for Cook to quit the 50-over set up again rose to deafening levels after the eight-wicket drubbing in the second ODI.

As is now the standard in this situation, Cook continues to insist he’s the right man to both open the batting and lead the side, but the time to prove himself on the pitch is long overdue.

The only score he has made over 50 in the last 18 innings came at a tortoise strike-rate of 65, while has only passed 22 once in his last three knocks.

Eoin Morgan to score under 24.5 runs @ 5/6

Like Cook, his second in command is also struggling for form, which is an even greater worry leading in to a World Cup that Morgan is required to play a huge part in.

The Middlesex man has made one score of 50 in the last 14 innings and is averaging a meagre 16 over his last eight appearances.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.