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England start odds-on favourites against SL

Firm favourites for the title, defending champions England have an easy opener to deal with when they take on tournament minnows Sri Lanka in a Group A match of the Women's Cricket World Cup on Friday.

The three-time winners of the tournament, since its inception in 1973, and the World T20 runners-up are led by Charlotte Edwards, who is set to appear in her fifth successive Cup. She led England to a four-wicket victory over Australia in the 2009 tournament final at Sydney.

England have a 100 per cent record against their rivals, considered outsiders in the race to the Super Six stage. The two teams have met on eight occasions, including one washed out match, and England have come out trumps seven times, making them clear front-runners.

England squad features familiar faces. There are eight players from the original winning squad of 2009 including the in-form ICC Women's Twenty20 Player of the Year Sarah Taylor, who will once again lead the side's batting line-up.

Apart from Edwards, the most capped woman's player in ODIs with 160 appearances including 86 as captain, England have a top wicket-keeper batter in Sarah Taylor.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are looked upon as the team most likely to make an exit at the preliminary stage from this group that also has hosts India and the West Indies. Sashikala Siriwardene-led Lanka have a mountain to climb against England, winners in 1973, 1993 and 2009.
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