Bangladesh and Sri Lanka cricketers during an intense match. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka cricketers during an intense match.

Sri Lanka face off with Bangladesh in yet another chapter of this rivalry

It is time for perhaps the most interesting cricketing rivalry in recent years, it is time for yet another Bangladesh-Sri Lanka encounter. Both the teams are placed in a tight group with three full members alongside Netherlands and Nepal, hence the winner of this match would be in a great position to make it to the Super Eights.

From dancing on the field to mocking each other during trophy celebrations, and to timing out the opposition’s batter for coming onto the field late, this rivalry has never failed to entertain the fans. However, both teams cannot let emotions take over. Sri Lanka is just coming off from a thrashing at the hands of South Africa while Bangladesh are at their lowest as far as T20 cricket is concerned. 

Sri Lanka’s batting collapsed like a house of cards against the Proteas in their opening fixture. The steep bounce and fiery South African bowlers blew away the batting Sri Lankan batting lineup before even they could get a sense of the conditions. However, they now face an opposition they have enjoyed success against in recent times including a series victory in March with Kusal Mendis being the MVP for his two fifties.

Bangladesh have a lot to worry about. Their series defeat against Sri Lanka was followed by a 4-1 victory against Zimbabwe, however, they were again beaten by USA 2-1 in a three-match series just before the mega event. Their warmup game against India didn’t produce any positives either. 

Frontline pacer Taskin Ahmed has recovered from his hamstring injury and is now bowling at full pelt, but Shoriful Islam’s participation still remains a question mark as he injured his hand during the warmup match against India. Tanzim Hasan and the experienced Mustafizur Rahman are the other pacers in the squad.

As for the expected playing XI, Tanzid Hasan and Soumya Sarkar are likely to open the innings for Bangladesh while captain Shanto will be coming in at No.3. Towhid Hridoy, alongside the two veterans Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah, and wicketkeeper Jaker Ali are expected form the middle order. 

For Sri Lanka, Dushamantha Chameera is likely to play ahead of Nuwan Thusara or Mahessh Theekshana. This decision, however, would be taken based on the conditions. Pathum Nissanka and Kusal Mendis are likely to be the openers. Kamindu Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, and Angelo Mathews will be batting in the middle order. Matheesha Pathirna and Nuwan Thushara are expected to be the two frontline pacers. 

The match will be hosted by Dallas, a venue that already has seen some enthralling encounters. The first match between the USA and Canada was a high-scoring one, but then Nepal were bowled out for 106 against the Dutch side. The venue also saw perhaps the biggest upsets in World Cup history when the USA defeated Pakistan in a match that was decided on a super-over. The weather is forecasted to remain clear throughout the day.