Sri Lanka take on giant-killers Bangladesh today
2019-06-11 at 11:53
1996 Champions Sri Lanka will take on giant-killers Bangladesh in the 16th match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup in Bristol today.
The battle of the South Asians will get underway at 1500 Sri Lanka time.
The Dimuth Karunaratne-led team has three points from three so far, curtsey rain-affected Pakistan game and the win over Afghanistan.
The Lions were humbled by the New Zealanders in the opener, the win over Afghanistan was labored while the no-result against Pakistan helped Sri Lanka to be in the Top Four albeit momentarily.
Kusal Janith Perera’s elevation and Lahiru Thirimanne’s demotion has worked wonders for the misfiring Sri Lankans, while Coach Chandika Hathurusingha might opt for a quick scoring top order batter to compensate the slow-paced Dimuth Karunaratne.
Talented Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews and Dhananjaya De Silva have yet to make their mark in the tournament while the all-rounders have been passengers in Sri Lankan’s World Cup squad in England and Wales.
Nuwan Pradeep took the Afghans by storm while Lasith Malinga continue to inspire even the opposition bowlers with his variations.
However Sri Lanka as an unit needs to perform in order to topple the fancied teams in the World Cup and the game against Bangladesh today will be an ideal dress rehearsal heading into a decisive week for one of the most successful teams in ICC events.
Bangladesh led by Mashrafe Mortaza is no more minnows as they have consistently outmuscled major cricketing powers in recent years.
They kick-started the 2019 edition with a 21-run win over South Africa, against the Kiwi attack they struggled yet produced a commendable performance with the ball.
The 106-run loss to England did not reflect how well the Bangladeshi batters went about their chase of 387.
Former Skipper Shakib Al-Hasan, the highest run-getter in the tournament, has taken over the lead role while the rest of the batting brigade including Mushfiqur Rahim have taken the game to the opponents and today, it will be no different against the Lankans.
The variety of bowling options, the Bangladeshis posses will also be a concern for all their World Cup opponents in English conditions.
Skipper Mortaza is a smart operator upfront, while Hasan Mirza and Shakib play the containing roles during middle order and Mustafizur Rahman is a handful in death overs.
Bristol has been receiving bucket loads of rain in recent days and cricket will be at the receiving end once again today.
The chilly weather will be alien to both sets of players and a shortened game will providing additional competition.
Sri Lanka has winners while the Bangladesh posses a group of skilled determined players.
The battle of the batsmen will favour the Bangladeshis but if Lasith Malinga led attack turn up for the game on what is expected to be a swing-friendly deck, Sri Lanka can register a comfortable win today.