Bangladesh started their campaign in the World Cup on a grand note. Mashrafe Mortaza & Co. defeated South Africa by 21 runs to become the first Asian team to beat the Proteas twice in the mega event. The Tigers gave New Zealand a tough fight at the same venue, but the Kiwis came out trumps by three wickets. Bangladesh lost their third match against England by a mammoth 106 runs.
Languishing in the eighth spot of the table, the Tigers are next scheduled to take on Sri Lanka on Tuesday at the County Ground in Bristol. The Lankans, on the contrary, made a comeback victory against Afghanistan after their 10-wicket drubbing against New Zealand. Nevertheless, though their bowlers have done a decent job, it’s their batting that has been a major reason of concern for them.
The forecast isn’t something to cheer about as there is a severe chance of downpour throughout the day. The game may well get abandoned due to the gloomy weather. The clouds will be there for the entire duration of the match. The temperature will be around the 12 degrees Celsius mark. The humidity will be in the 70s and 80s during game time.
Only one match at the venue has been played and the pitch there was batting friendly. Only seven out of the 17 matches at the County Ground were won by the team, batting first. But bearing in mind the result of their previous games, teams may opt to bat first, put runs on the board and then exert pressure on the opposition.
The Tigers may still not alter their playing eleven after the defeat, They are persisting with Mohammad Mithun despite a few indifferent shows. If he doesn’t play then Sabbir Rahman may get a chance. Rubel Hossain may have to warm the bench yet again. Mashrafe has looked a tad rusty with the ball and he needs to deliver soon. Mustafizur Rahman needs to get the early breakthroughs.
Mohammad Saifuddin has also blown hot and hot and he has to be a bit more consistent. Tamim Iqbal’s form is turning out to be a concern. The team will again be looking up to Shakib for another masterful show. Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah’s role will be crucial as well. The onus will also be on Soumya Sarkar to give his team a decent start to the innings.
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mohammad Mithun/Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Mustafizur Rahman.
The Lankans will make an unforced changed after Nuwan Pradeep, who was the Player of the Match against the Afghans, was ruled out of the game. The speedster suffered an injury on his bowling arm. Jeevan Mendis is most likely to replace him. Kusal Perera may be persisted as the opener with Lahiru Thirimanne at number three. Karunaratne needs to play his part with the willow as well.
The likes of Angelo Mathews, Kusal Mendis, and Dhananjaya de Silva haven’t done anything of sorts and they are required to step up. Suranga Lakmal is yet to pick up a wicket in the mega event. Lasith Malinga was expensive versus the Kiwis but got his rhythm back in the erstwhile encounter. A lot will also depend on how all-rounder Thisara Perera and Isuru Udana deliver.
Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (WK), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga.
Probable Top Performer
Tamim Iqbal – Bangladesh | Kusal Perera – Sri Lanka
TV – Star Sports
Match Timings – 15:00 IST; 10:30 local