Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Super Four, Asia Cup, Karachi June 29, 2008

Bangladesh under pressure to stay afloat

Match facts

Monday, June 30, 2008
Start time 16.00 (local), 10.00 (GMT)


Kumar Sangakkara, fresh from his second hundred in a week, will be Bangladesh's main threat © AFP
 

Big Picture

Bangladesh have their backs to the wall after losing their previous encounter to India and must now beat Sri Lanka to have a shot at qualifying for the final. An encouraging batting display against India - who were set a target of 284 - was not backed up by their bowlers and fielders and India sailed to an easy victory. Bangladesh's inability to push the opposition reflects in their net run-rate, which stands at -0.894. Against an in-form Sri Lanka, they'll be aware that nothing less than 300 is a safe score, especially on surfaces that offer little respite to the bowlers.

A win for Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will seal their place in the final. They had defeated Bangladesh in the group stage, an emphatic 131-run win set up by a total of 357 for 9. This will be Sri Lanka's second match in as many days but Mahela Jayawardene wasn't perturbed, stating tough schedules were the norm in international cricket.

Form guide

(Last 5 completed ODIs; most recent first)
Sri Lanka WWWLL
Bangladesh LLWLL

Watch out for ...

Alok Kapali , whose whirlwind 115 off 97 balls at No. 6 against the Indians was easily his most convincing performance with the bat since breaking into the team in 2002. His power-hitting in the slog overs made India sweat it out and, for a change, gave Bangladesh a big cushion of runs to work with.

Kumar Sangakkara has two centuries already in the tournament, including one in the last meeting against Bangladesh. However, he got a duck in the match following that hundred and Bangladesh will hope to dismiss him early after his match-winning 112 against Pakistan on Sunday.

Ajantha Mendis didn't pick up any wickets in the previous encounter against Bangladesh, but has picked up nine in the next two matches.

Team news

Sri Lanka will face a tough choice. They might rest a few players but Jayawardene will want to seal a berth in the final as soon as possible. Veterans Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan were given a break against UAE but Sri Lanka may avoid resting them tomorrow.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Sanath Jayasuriya, 2 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 3 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 4 Chamara Kapugedera, 5 Chamara Silva, 6 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 7 Chaminda Vaas, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Thilan Thushara 10 Ajantha Mendis, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.

Bangladesh have retained the XI that played India on Saturday. However, they will need to pick up on their fielding - both Suresh Raina and Gautam Gambhir earned a reprieve during their seven-wicket loss to India.

Bangladesh 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Nazimuddin, 3 Mohammad Ashraful (capt), 4 Raqibul Hasan, 5 Alok Kapali, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Farhad Reza, 9 Shahadat Hossain, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Mashrafe Mortaza.

Stats and trivia

  • Just two Bangladesh batsmen made centuries in 2007 but four have been scored since March this year. Tamim Iqbal's 129 against Ireland broke the drought, followed by hundreds by Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Ashraful and Kapali.

  • In the last three years, Bangladesh have managed to bat out the full 50 overs only six times while chasing a target. They lost all matches.

  • Bangladesh have beaten Sri Lanka just once in 23 meetings.

    Quotes

    "All the while I was thinking of the team score and did not for once look at my runs on the scoreboard."
    Another dazzling hundred for Alok Kapali will surely aid his team.

    "I think in international cricket one has to be used to play such a tough schedule. Our players are fit and have been working hard and preparing for this tournament. In fact conditions were much tougher in Lahore, it is much better in Karachi."
    Mahela Jayawardene has no gripes about the itinerary, in fact he looks at the positives.

    Kanishkaa Balachandran is a staff writer at Cricinfo

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