Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh:
Sri Lanka meet Bangladesh in do or die contest akin to a final today with the winner qualifying to the final against India at the R. Premadasa Stadium. Only if rain intervenes preventing any play that the finalist will be decided on a faster run rate in which case Sri Lanka will be through having – 0.072 points as against Bangladesh’s – 0.436. India leads with +0.377 points.
With both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh having a win each with 2 points each from two outings does see a pendulum swing. That is with Sri Lanka’s hitherto invincibility against Bangladesh taken a dip following the hosts defeat in a cliff hanger. In effect, it has put the onus on the Lankans to showcase a herculean performance that would sweep Bangladesh off their feet. That is given the clinical power hitting batting display Bangladesh unleashed to go past Sri Lanka’s record total of 214.
Altogether Thisara Perera and his charges will need to come good with an all-round performance to coast to given the fact that the opposition has in its ranks some potential match winners as Bangladesh proved in upstaging Sri Lanka in setting up the ground record for the highest chase.
The Lankans would certainly do a thorough analysis of the footage of Wednesday’s game when Bangladesh were well beaten by India. It would be a feeder to Bangladesh’s weak points on which India thrived.
Minus regular captain Dinesh Chandimal, Sri Lanka will have to decide whether to go with an unchanged team or to opt for an extra batsman in Dananjaya de Silva. The loss to Bangladesh saw the home team go in with four specialist batsmen and a beefing up in the batting order could well add that extra thrust to run making in the decisive contest.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-