“Will the match be played?”
Yes, the biggest questions around the globe about this match isn’t about the teams. It’s about the weather. It has been raining continuously in Bristol over the last few days, and the forecast says rain might visit the venue on match day.
The teams on the other hand, is looking forward to the match as they look at this encounter as a chance to leapfrog the other in the race for the semis. Bangladesh sit 8th on the table with a solitary win from three matches, whereas Sri Lanka sit sixth with three points courtesy of their win against Afghanistan and the abandoned match against Pakistan.
Bangladesh after dominating South Africa in their first match, lost a close match to New Zealand and then were dominated by England. Their best performer, Shakib Al Hasan, who is the leading run-scorer in this World Cup, has grade-one strain in his thigh, which makes him a doubt for the encounter. With Shakib only the notable performer of the team, the others have really failed to keep up the expectations, probably Mehidy Hasan and Saifuddin as exceptions. Their performance has created massive backlashes among the general people, whose fury has particularly been on skipper Mashrafe Mortaza and opener Tamim Iqbal. This is a must-win game for Bangladesh if they want to qualify for the semis and go on their merry way.
Sri Lanka on the other hand, was completely dominated on their opening game by New Zealand. They bounced back against Afghanistan in a rain-interrupted game with a winning margin of 34 runs. Their match against Pakistan was abandoned due to rain and they had to be satisfied with a point rather than two. Sri Lanka’s batting lineup has been a concern for them as they were bowled out for mediocre scores in both of their matches. Their bowlers have shown signs of good rhythm, but still there might be questions about their effectiveness against a quality batting side. And with Nuwan Pradeep, man of the match against Afghanistan injured, more questions might rise. Sri Lanka weren’t taunted to be one of the top four, but if they want to reach the semis, they must take two points from this game.
Changes look likely in the Bangladesh side as their bowling has looked toothless over the course of the World Cup. Shakib’s strain might force him to stay out of this match, that might also compel the team to make a forced change. Mohammad Mithun hasn’t done anything significant in any of the matches, and it might lead him to being dropped. Rubel Hossain is highly likely to come in the team to strengthen the bowling, while Liton Das could come in to replace Shakib at No.3, with Sabbir Rahman also being another option.
Probable Bangladesh Team - 1. Tamim Iqbal, 2. Soumya Sarkar, 3.Shakib Al Hasan/Liton Das, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5. Mahmudullah Riyad, 6. Mosaddek Hossain, 7. Mohammad Saifuddin, 8. Mehidy Hasan, 9. Mashrafe Morataza ©, 10. Rubel Hossain, 11. Mustafizur Rahman
Nuwan Pradeep’s injury will bring a change to Sri Lanka’s lineup, bowling allrounder Jeevan Mendis looks like the probable replacement. Sri Lanka might end up with the same lineup against New Zealand, which gives them extra depth in batting.
Probable Sri Lanka Team - 1. Dimuth Karunaratne ©, 2. Kusal Perera, 3. Lahiru Thirimanne, 4. Kusal Mendis, 5. Angelo Mathews, 6. Dhananjaya de Silva, 7. Thisara Perera, 8. Isuru Udana, 9. Jeevan Mendis, 10. Lasith Malinga, 11. Suranga Lakmal
Pitch and Conditions
In the last three matches in Bristol, the side batting second have won twice. This indicates that the pitch becomes easier as the game progresses.
The weather forecast predicts rain around toss time and again at the end of the first innings, which is a concern for both the teams.