Enduring a rather wobbly campaign so far, former champions Sri Lanka would be eyeing a big win to boost their confidence when they take on Bangladesh in their third pool A ODI cricket match of the ICC World Cup here.
Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, have been far from good in the tournament so far, losing to co-hosts New Zealand in the opener before huffing and puffing to win over minnows Afghanistan.
“To play a tough match like the one against Afghanistan is probably a good thing because we handled a tough situation. But there is a lot of room for improvement. If we can keep working at it and get everything right, it will be great,” Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews said.
The Lankans would be eager to ensure that they win and win convincingly against the South-Asian minnows, who are unbeaten so far. Bangladesh have beaten Afghanistan while their match against Australia was washed out due to cyclone Marcia.
For Sri Lanka, a major cause of concern is the poor form of star batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan besides the ordinary run of pace spearhead Lasith Malinga.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, are yet to be tested in the tournament. But given their position right now, they only need to win a couple of their remaining four matches to advance to the quarterfinals.
Bangladesh bowling coach Heath Streak, a Zimbabwean pace legend, said, “There is a lot in this game for us. If we can upset Sri Lanka who are obviously the favourites, it will give us a chance to make the quarter-finals.”
“The boys are very excited about it. 160 million people in Bangladesh are wishing them well and the boys are focused on the job at hand.”
However, the side has been distracted by some off-field drama after seamer Al-Amin Hossain was sent home for breaking the team curfew. He was replaced by Shafiul Islam.
Bangladesh (from): Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (wkt), Mohammad Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Taijul Islam, Arafat Sunny, Shafiul Islam.
Sri Lanka (from): Angelo Mathews (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wkt), Mahela Jayawardene, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekara, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Dushmantha Chameera.