Bangladesh and Sri Lanka could not have had more contrasting starts to their World Cup campaign. While Sri Lanka suffered a crushing defeat against New Zealand, Bangladesh defeated South Africa to kick off their campaign. Bangladesh though after their first win have suffered back to back defeat at the hands of New Zealand and England. Bangladesh’s bowling though suffered in the game against England and their pace bowlers lacked control and penetration. On a wicket which had a bit of grass, the Bangladesh pacers struggled to pick up wickets and went for lots of runs.
The Bangladesh batting as well hasn’t been consistent except for Shakib Al Hasan who has been in great form in this tournament so far. His hundred against England is one of best so far in the tournament. Even though he has batted well, his bowling hasn’t been effective enough so far considering he is playing as one of the specialist spinner in the XI. The bowlers need to step up for the Tigers if they have to progress in this tournament.
For Sri Lanka though the problem has been their batting. After getting bowled out for a sub 150 score against New Zealand they stuttered to a total of just over 200 against Afghanistan. Their best bat and experienced Angelo Mathews hasn’t been in form and the rest of the batting is inexperienced. The bowling attack though has done well after going wicket less in the first game. They did rally to bead Afghanistan in the second game and the experienced Lasith Malinga did well with the ball. Nuwan Pradeep who got a four-fer in that game is out injured which will be a huge blow for the Island nation.
Head to Head:
Sri Lanka have dominated Bangladesh historically in ODIs and have not lost a world cup game to them yet in their 3 prior meetings.
Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka): Sri Lanka will be missing Nuwan Pradeep who bowled an excellent spell against Afghanistan, so Lasith Malinga will be crucial with the new ball. He is a veteran for Sri Lanka and had a good game against
Afghanistan. He will be expected to provide the breakthrough with the new ball once again in this game. Being the most experienced pacer, he is crucial for Sri Lanka’s success.
Kusal Perera (Sri Lanka): Perera’s 78 against Afghanistan in his first game as opener in the World Cup will give a struggling Sri Lankan some hope for the rest of the competition. Their best batter Angelo Mathews isn’t in form, which means the rest of the batting needs to step up. Kusal Perera looked in great touch in the previous game and Sri Lanka will be hoping that he will provide them with a good start once again.
Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh): Bangladesh has been struggling with their pace attack. Their captain Mashrafe Mortaza has agreed that he probably isn’t pulling his weight as a pacer in the team. Mustafizur being the only world class pacer in the XI probably is the key for Bangladesh with the new ball. The strategy to open the bowling with Shakib isn’t working so far and giving the new ball to Mustafizur will be prudent in these games with early starts.
Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh): Shakib has been in brilliant form with the bat since the start of th world cup. He has scored two fifties and a hundred in 3 games he has batted so far and is by far the best Bangladesh batter in this competition. He will once again be crucial in a misfiring batting line up. The rest of the batting has been struggling for consistency which makes Shakib once again important for Bangladesh in this game as well.
What they said?
“We played some good cricket but Afghanistan probably weren’t at their best at the start with the new ball,” said Lewis. “As they improved, we probably didn’t recognise that they had improved. We expected them to carry on the same level. So when we opened the door, which we did, they pushed on through. It was our fault.
”I think there are so many times where I didn’t finish my overs in the last four or five years I’ve been in the captaincy. It’s all about who is doing well in the middle and at the right time,” Mortaza said, talking about his bowling ”In the last match, I bowled 10 overs because I needed to, and maybe till the eighth or ninth over I was doing okay.”
Sri Lanka XI:
Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga.
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman.
Considering there is 90% chance of rain at Bristol, the chances are that we may not get a game again but again both teams will be hoping that the prediction is wrong. Both teams will be hoping for a win and even though recent form points to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka might just have enough to pull this off.