England return to the home of cricket this weekend, looking to secure a one-day series, following their emphatic victory over Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
Peter Moores’ men buoyantly arrive at Lord’s with a 2-1 series lead over the recently crowned World T20 champions, courtesy of a 10-wicket win at Old Trafford.
After failing with the bat in Durham and being completely dismissed for 99, there was a role reversal in the third ODI, as England bowled Sri Lanka all out for 67.
Chris Jordan claimed the best ever figures for an Englishman at Old Trafford with his 5-29 and he will be looking to maintain his good run of form, with one eye on a potential Test cap.
Victory at Lord’s would provide England with an unassailable 3-1 cushion prior to the series’ conclusion at Edgbaston next week.
England’s incredible turn around in fortunes coincided with the return of Alastair Cook on Wednesday, and the skipper played a key role in chasing down the meagre target of 68.
Speaking to reporters after the third ODI, Cook said: “The lads came out firing, desperate to prove a point today, and we did that.
“We didn’t quite get set straight away so the way we held our nerve and kept building pressure, and then when we got the chance Jords really hit the mark.”
Cook was absent from the miserable Durham defeat, but clearly made the most of Jordan upon his return.
The pendulum has swung so vastly in this series that it is hard to predict who will come out on top this weekend.
But with practically a full strength squad now available for selection, it would appear as though England would be favourites to give themselves a big boost prior to the two-Test series.
Having achieved his first five-wicket haul in international cricket, it will be interesting to see how Jordan performs in front of Old Father Time.
In the grand scheme of things, tomorrow’s match provides the ECB with another opportunity to assess their up and coming stars of the future. In addition to the Sussex seamer, Harry Gurney and Gary Ballance have also been striving to tie down spots in the England dressing room.
Meanwhile the Sri Lankans will need to guard against the complacency that saw them completely capitulate in Manchester. Another top-order collapse is likely to cost them the series.
A series win for England would be greatly welcomed, following World T20 group stage elimination, and defeats to the West Indies and Australia all in the past six months.
Both sides have plenty to play for, which will make the toss prior to Saturday’s 10.30am start even more important to win.