Tigers take on Sri Lanka to snap losing streak in World Cup

DHAKA, A determined Bangladesh look to bounce back in

winningway to revive their World Cup semifinal hope when they take on Sri

Lanka at Bristol on Tuesday.

The match starts at 3.30 PM (Bangladesh Standard Time).

The Tigers began their journey in impressive fashion with a 21run win

over South Africa after posting their ODI highest 3306 but stumbled twice in

consecutive matcheslosing New Zealand to a narrow twowicket margin and a

humiliating 106defeat to hosts England.

The defeat to England however is moraleshattering given the manner in

which they lost the match. Bangladesh was clueless, jaded and outofsort in

bowling while they were sloppy in fielding that cost them at least 50 runs.

England took full advantage of their shaky effort in the field to compile

their World Cup highest 3866.

A victory looked distant dream after getting such target but taking the

team past 300 at least could have given Tigers some confidence. However apart

from Shakib Al Hasan who became second Bangladeshi player to hit World Cup

century with classy 121, everyone put up mindless batting, which wrapped up

their innings for 280 in 48.5 overs.

After such defeat, Bangladesh are at lowest ebb but captain Mashrafe

Mortaza insisted the players should be motivated to stay alive in semifinal

race as they have still six matches left.

Mashrafe wants his side to begin the journey of reviving the semifinal

hope with the victory against Sri Lanka, a team whom they beat quite several

times in the recent past.

Still six matches to go and hopefully others step up in those games

because we have very important matches coming up, Mashrafe said after their

defeat to England.

Because of playing against each more often, both teams are quite aware of

their strength. They encountered each other 45 times, of which Sri Lanka won

36 matches and Bangladesh seven while two matches were abandoned.

Once used to beat Bangladesh with quite ease, Sri Lanka's outright

domination was over after the 2015 World Cup, when the Tigers' cricketing

renaissance kickstarted in vigorous fashion. Since then both team played

seven matches with the result locked at 33 while one match was rainedoff.

The last time the both teams met in Asia Cup in Dubai, Bangladesh beat Sri

Lanka by 137 runs thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim's careerbest 144.

The Tigers met Sri Lanka thrice in World Cup and all lost duly without

much resistance. If the recent record is taken into consideration, Bangladesh

should set their record right against Sri Lanka also in cricket's biggest

carnival.

Sri Lanka however began this World Cup in worst fashion, having lost to

New Zealand by 10 wickets after being all out for 136 and then they narrowly

escaped an Afghanistan juggernaut, beating them by 34 runs thanks to D/L

method. That they lost nine wickets for 57 runs against Afghans exposed their

batting vulnerability. Their last match against Pakistan was washed out due

to consistent rain.

With both teams have now just one win under belt, the match is important

for both of them in keeping them alive. But Sri Lanka will be without the

service of fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep who prevented his side being upstaged to

Afghanistan with fourfor after receiving a nasty blow to his hand during a

practice session.

Sri Lanka's coach Chandika Hathurusingha was Bangladesh's coach just two

years ago, guiding them to be World beater. Most of the Bangladeshi players

in this World Cup squad were nursed by Hathurusingha and so he knew the

strength of them. But that shouldn't be a disadvantage because Bangladesh

still beat Sri Lanka with Hathurusingha in charge.

Considering the recent performance and stat, Bangladesh would be outright

favourite to win the game as it is perceived.

When we win, we perform well as a team. The matches we won, we had done

well in every department, Bangladesh spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz said,

stressing upon the needs to play as a unit.

Winning the next match against Sri Lanka is imperative in keeping us alive

in the tournament.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)