The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has reached a juncture where some teams are playing for survival, while others are battling to restore lost glory.
In this context, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are set to collide in a contest that holds significance despite both teams facing tumultuous journeys in the tournament.
For Bangladesh, the dream of advancing to the knockout stages is officially over, rendering this match an opportunity to salvage their pride.
A disheartening sequence of losses, including a recent defeat to Pakistan, has underscored their struggle with form and consistency.
Moreover, Bangladesh’s historical record against Sri Lanka has been unfavorable, with six defeats in their last eight encounters. However, the Bangladeshis remain determined to put up a competitive performance and rectify their tournament woes.
Shakib al Hasan’s side once heralded as contenders, has been mired in a stark decline, losing their last six games after an initial victory. The most recent setback, a seven-wicket loss to Pakistan, eliminated them from the competition.
Bangladesh, however, possesses talented individuals who will look to shine in this encounter. Litton Das and Tanzid Hasan aim to provide stability at the top, while Najmul Hossain Shanto, Shakib, and Mushfiqur Rahim hold the responsibility to fortify the middle order.
Mahmudullah’s lower-middle-order contributions have been promising, and he, along with Towhid Hridoy and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, will seek to accelerate the scoring.
In the bowling department, Bangladesh’s performance has oscillated between brilliance and inconsistency. Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam will spearhead the attack, aiming to rattle Sri Lanka’s faltering batting lineup.
The experienced trio of Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, and Shakib will be pivotal in ensuring that the team can apply pressure on their opponents.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, is grappling with their own set of challenges. A big 302-run defeat to India has cast shadows on their skills and resilience, pushing them to the brink of elimination.
While they still harbor a faint hope of progressing to the next round, a resounding victory is essential to offset their dismal run rate. Their batting lineup, which crumbled against India, will require a substantial resurrection.
Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne are pivotal at the top, while Kusal Mendis and Sadeera Samarawickrama must rebuild partnerships alongside Charith Asalanka in the middle order. Angelo Mathews and Dushan Hemantha will be entrusted with delivering in the lower middle order.
Sri Lanka’s bowling unit, which has faltered in the past, will be eager to redeem itself. Dilshan Madushanka, a standout performer, will be tasked with providing early breakthroughs, complemented by the pace of Dushmantha Chameera.
Kasun Rajitha and Maheesh Theekshana are expected to apply pressure in the middle overs, thereby containing the opposition’s scoring rate. Support from Hemantha and Matthews will be crucial in orchestrating a well-rounded bowling performance.
As Bangladesh and Sri Lanka prepare for this encounter, both sides are fueled by the desire to rejuvenate their campaigns. In a match that carries implications beyond just the result, the stage is set for a gripping contest where each team will strive to make a resounding statement.
BAN vs SL Probable XI
Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (c), Litton Das, Tanzid Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman
Sri Lanka: Kusal Mendis (c & wk), Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dushan Hemantha, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka