About the Match
Bangladesh will meet Sri Lanka in the Group A match at Melbourne on 26th Feb and will try to inject more enthusiasm to their campaign with a strong performance against the islanders on Thursday. With 3 points on board from 2 matches, Bangladesh which saw its last game against Australia being washed away by rain is placed one position above Sri Lanka, which has 2 points from its victory against Afghanistan. The Lankans are eager to come back with more vigor and will put up a tough challenge to Bangladesh; it will be quite an interesting match as Sri Lanka has a very good record against its upcoming opponent in ODIs but it needs to be seen if they can come up with a convincing win here.
They were lucky to share the points with Australia as the match was abandoned due to rain last week but their win against Afghanistan by 105 runs exhibited the hunger the players have to win matches. Shakib Al Hasan is the pillar of the batting line-up and continues to get the runs on board; his 63 off 51 helped the team get to 267 runs with support from Mushfiqur Rahim’s well-made 71 off 56. Players like Soumya Sarkar, who made 28 off 25 against Afghanistan, Tamim Iqbal and Anamul Haque need to play a concrete role in the upcoming matches and build a solid foundation from the top. Bowlers Mashrafe Mortaza, who claimed 3-20 in 9 overs and Shakib along with Rubel Hossain and Taskin Ahmed are looking very promising to take regular wickets and restrict the run-flow; but they need to be cautious in fielding and stop the leakage of runs against the tactics of the Lankan batting line-up. Overall, the team looks prepared for the bigger challenges ahead provided they strategize well and come out all guns blazing on Thursday.
Jeevan Mendis will be out of the tournament due to injury and this will come as a heavy blow to the bowling squad; however, Dushmantha Chameera, the pace bowler will replace him and try to come up with a good attack. Mahela Jayawardene, who posted a well-made century against Afghanistan in the last match, is surely looking good to come out with a strong performance with the bat here while Sangakkara will be eager to do well in the upcoming match, which will be his 400th ODI. Angelo Mathews scored 44 off 81 balls against Afghanistan and while the batting line-up did tumble like a pack of cards, Perera’s all-rounder skills came to the rescue as he posted a brilliant 47 off 26 deliveries to take his team safely home. The Lankan bowling unit looks good with Malinga picking up 3 wickets against Afghanistan; Mathews and Lakmal took 5 wickets between them while Herath picked up one. They will need to polish their skills and come up with a convincing performance here if they want to stay for the long haul.
While Bangladesh has a poor record against Sri Lanka in ODIs and have never won a match against them in the world cup, they will definitely put up a strong fight on Thursday. Although the contest will be well-fought, we feel that the Lankans will finally rise above their weaknesses and emerge victorious here.
Sri Lanka, 1.22 @ Bet365