Deadline: June 11, 2019 at 3 PM IST
Venue: County Ground, Bristol
Pitch and conditions
The last match at Bristol, between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, was abandoned without a ball bowled, and conditions have not gotten brighter yet. Rain is forecasted throughout this week. Another abandoned match will push Sri Lanka further down the points table.
The pitch has been under covers since last Friday, and in the only completed match here thus far, we saw Australia edge out Afghanistan by 7 wickets. Given there was a thin film of grass and dark clouds looming over, Australia chose to bowl first and then, as planned, caught the opposition in swing and pace. Expect something similar on Tuesday. Pick your fantasy cricket team wisely
Probable XI for Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mustafizur Rahman
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Kusal Perera (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeepl Boult
Numbers favour Sri Lanka but…
Bangladesh have lost all three matches against Sri Lanka in World Cup. The overall record too does not favour them, having won only 7 ODIs in 36 attempts. However, form and fortune have changed. Sri Lanka is what Bangladesh was a decade and a half ago. They are fragile and indecisive. They lost to New Zealand by 10 wickets – the same team against whom Bangladesh lost by a narrow margin of 2 wickets. Although they won against Afghanistan, they were made to toil hard for it.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, are giving their all despite having an ordinary pace attack. They pulled off an improbable win against South Africa, and although they lost to New Zealand and England after that, they performed well above their weight. If they continue to do so, it won’t be an uphill task for them to triumph over a struggling Sri Lankan team.
Shakib Al Hasan is the No. 1 all-rounder in the format for a reason: his scores this tournament read 75, 64, and 121 and has taken 3 wickets – 2 of which are of the openers. Bangladesh will play at least 6 more matches. The southpaw has the perfect opportunity to be Player of the Tournament.
Mushfiqur Rahim too has been in a great touch, having scored 141 runs at an impressive average of 47. Shakib and he will continue to be Bangladesh’s saviours.
To everyone’s surprise, neither Mustafizur Rahman nor Mashrafe Mortaza has taken the most wickets for them. With 6 wickets at 29.3, Mohammad Saifuddin has done the bulk of the damage. Mahidy Hasan has taken a wicket fewer than him in as many matches.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, do not have many top performers. Barring Kusal Perera, who has smashed 107 runs, they have nothing to brag about. The scenario is the same in the bowling department. Apart from Nuwan Pradeep’s 4 wickets, their bowling performances have been rather ordinary.