Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 19, 2012

Must-win encounter for upbeat hosts


Match facts

March 20, 2012
Start time 1400 (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

Sri Lanka have been knocked out of the Asia Cup. But they can still spoil Bangladesh or India's chances of qualifying for the final. Earlier this month, they knocked India out of the CB series after beating Australia in the tournament's final league game. They can ensure India go through this time by winning against Bangladesh, or inflict a second-straight knock-out, undermine another sterling Virat Kohli ton and another run-chase of 320-plus, by losing.

A Sri Lanka win will end Bangladesh's Asia Cup, one the hosts spiced up through their thrilling chase against India that kept their qualification hopes alive and prevented Sunday's India-Pakistan encounter from becoming a mere dress rehearsal for the final. They fought hard against Pakistan, won memorably against India by embarrassing a weak bowling attack and can't be written off against a Sri Lanka team yet to recover from sizable defeats. Bangladesh will go through if they win; even if they tie with India on points, they're through by virtue of having beaten them earlier.

For Sri Lanka, a team that beat South Africa at home twice in the ODI series in January and won against Australia four times in the CB series, failing to make it to the final of a tournament they've traditionally done well in represents a setback. Sri Lanka will be desperate to salvage some pride, Bangladesh to display some consistency in winning against superior teams, not merely challenging them.

In 29 tournaments of three teams or more that Bangladesh have participated in, they've only made it to the final once - the tri-series final at home where Sri Lanka took the title in a close finish. A win tomorrow will mark their most impressive performance in a multi-team tournament, and what better place to deliver that than at home in front of a packed house, also the venue for the final.

Form guide

Bangladesh: WLLLL (most recent first)
Sri Lanka: LLLWL

In the spotlight

Nasir Hossain: Only 20, he has been the find of the season for Bangladesh. Spunky in the middle order, more than handy as an offspinner and a livewire in the field, Nasir has infused this Bangladesh team with plenty of life and enthusiasm. He helped give Bangladesh a realistic chance of beating Pakistan and stayed through to almost the end against India, both those innings part of a consistent run in ODIs. Sri Lanka will have their first taste of Hossain on Tuesday.

Dinesh Chandimal: He looks good to take over from Kumar Sangakkara as Sri Lanka's next long-term wicketkeeper-batsman - he's already done that in Tests. Along with Lahiru Thirimanne, he is Sri Lanka's next big batting hope. His last three outings haven't been good, however, with scores of 5, 13 and 0, all in losing causes. Bangladesh present an opportunity for a recovery.

Team news

Bangladesh will be without their seamer Shafiul Islam, who is out for 10 days with a shoulder injury. They have drafted in seamer Abul Hasan in the squad. Whether or not he'll play in the XI, as Shafiul had done, remains to be seen. They have another medium-fast option in Nazmul Hossain.

Bangladesh XI (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Nazimuddin, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Nasir Hossain, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza, 9 Abdur Razzak, 10 Nazmul Hossain, 11 Shahadat Hossain.

Will Lasith Malinga play? Or will Sri Lanka give another bowler a go? They'll be eager to win and won't be taking Bangladesh lightly. It is likely they will go in with their best XI.

Sri Lanka XI (possible): 1 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Upul Tharanga, 7 Farveez Maharoof, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Seekkuge Prasanna, 10 Lasith Malinga/Shaminda Eranga, 11 Suranga Lakmal.

Stats and trivia

  • The teams have played each other on 29 occasions in ODIs, Bangladesh winning twice. Their first win came in February 2006 and the latest in January 2009.
  • Shakib Al Hasan has won the most Man-of-the-Match awards for Bangladesh in ODIs, on 12 occasions out of 124. Khaled Mashud, the former Bangladesh wicketkeeper, didn't win the award in 126 matches and former captain Habibul Bashar 111. They are ranked No. 2 and 4 in the all-time list of players who've played the most matches but not won a single Man-of-the-Match award.


"It's another international game for us so we are not thinking too far ahead. It has been a disappointing series so hopefully we'll finish off with a win."
Mahela Jayawardene does not want to leave Bangladesh winless

"This is a must-win game for us so we are taking it as a positive sign. Our confidence is high after the win against India."
Mashrafe Mortaza is glad Bangladesh are in a situation where they can control their own fate

Edited by Nikita Bastian

Siddhartha Talya is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shabbir on March 20, 2012, 18:48 GMT

    Sorry one more thing ... can anyone explain why Sunil Gavaskar had very few commentary slots in the game? He is a real patronising person against BANGLADESH but is very patriotic towards IND. Oh well true colours coming though and Sunil is showing his level of class - who is taller by the way, he or Mushfiqur?!

  • zia on March 20, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Ha Ha Ha!!! This Time Pakistan, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh Played a Great Game with Poor Indians...Good Luck Poor Indians with your Dreams...

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 16:44 GMT


  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 13:09 GMT

    Sri lanka regained their Minnow tags which they seems to be lost after 1996 World cup.They are more than a Major team Part spoiler rather than self winner.All the best to them may be the hit No 10 rank in the side in ODI and Test,The Time has came for M/s Wjkala and lankan who loves to hate India to celebrate

  • sowmi on March 20, 2012, 12:44 GMT

    @vikramsihag I think its too early to call Bangladesh an emerging power but they are playing good cricket. If they can make it to the final and win it then they will emerge as a competitive side in world cricket. They are still a long way away from winning test matches and doing well in world cups.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    I can well understand how India should be proud of the many cricketing achievements that Sachin's achieved least of all a 100Th century but to proclaim him the greatest cricketer ever, is a farce. His average is half of Don Bradman's and in the Don's day no one wore helmets or were treated to pitches such as the curators are able to deliver today Technology in Bat manufacture was not anywhere near what we have today yet the ball has changed very little. They were paid literary peanuts meaning he had a job outside of cricket that feed his family and a tour of England started with a 4 week journey on a ship to get there not a half day plane flight. There can be no argument from any reputable man that Sachin is not a great cricketer. But Don Bradman has no equal and never will.

  • Satish on March 20, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    @Posted by on (March 20 2012, 10:33 AM GMT) : We will never be worried of the result of the game.. We had a good tournament and even if we don't make it to finals, we will be happy s we saw our team perform well and win two matches and had just one loss in last over.. We don't need any favor from anyone to win.. We had one bad match and are willing to pay for it..

  • mohammad on March 20, 2012, 12:03 GMT


  • Suss on March 20, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    Bangladesh Deserve to go to the finals than Indian Team. If it wasn't for Virat Kohli, then India would be no where. At the half way stage, Bangladesh looks on top, but you never know these Sri lankans. Dohni and Kohli must be absoloutley peeing there pants now hahahaha.

  • Dummy4 on March 20, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    BD has a Golden Chance to WIN this one. Rain should not be a problem as there is a reserve day tomorrow ....@ Fairness "Nothing succeeds like sa uccess" Winning Asia Cup will be the true glory ..... whether it is INDIA PAK or BD ....

  • No featured comments at the moment.