Reaching semis is still an attainable aim-Mashrafe

2019-06-11 at 11:05

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza insists reaching the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup is still an attainable aim, despite losing two of their opening three games.

Bangladesh face Sri Lanka – who have had their struggles over their opening three fixtures – in Bristol, in a vital match-up for both teams.

Sri Lanka’s last visit to Bristol brought a washout against Pakistan – earning them a share of the points – but it means they haven’t played a game for six days, so could be rusty.

The Tigers kicked off the tournament with a cracking win over South Africa, before losing narrowly to New Zealand and being brushed aside by England, but Mashrafe is remaining optimistic.

Bangladesh arguably go in as favourites against Sri Lanka, who were bowled out by New Zealand for 136 in an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat to start the tournament before edging to an unconvincing 34-run win over Afghanistan in their second outing.

Meanwhile, paceman Nuwan Pradeep is ruled out of the game with a dislocated finger after taking a blow to his bowling hand at training on Sunday.

Jeevan Mendis – the man whose spot in the team he took – is his likely replacement.

Mendis contributed just one run with the bat and bowled only seven deliveries in Sri Lanka’s opening defeat to New Zealand, before Pradeep impressed with figures of 4-31 in for the win over Afghanistan.

The crunch encounter is slated to get underway at 1500 Sri Lanka time.