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Weakened Sri Lanka battle for stability against resurgent Bangladesh
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Weakened Sri Lanka battle for stability against resurgent Bangladesh

Sub-continent rivals Bangladesh and Sri Lanka clash at Bristol on Tuesday in a vital contest to bag some crucial points as the World Cup enters the business end of proceedings.

Although Sri Lanka's current position in the World Cup standings sees them placed higher than Bangladesh, a scrappy win against Afghanistan and a point received from a wash-out versus Pakistan means they are far from consistent after having been hammered by New Zealand in their opening game.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh have had impressive outings versus South Africa, who they beat by 21 runs, and table-toppers New Zealand, where the Tigers almost defended the paltry target of 245.

Also Read: Sri Lanka batting coach backs Mathews and Mendis to hit form

Fresh from a 106-run drubbing at the hands of hosts England, Mashrafe Mortaza's men look to make history by achieving their maiden win over Sri Lanka in World Cups.

Sri Lanka's batting line-up has been under the pump in this tournament, being one of the only two teams out of the ten participants to have been bowled out in all their completed games. They will thus surely be tested by Bangladesh's versatile bowling attack packed with left-arm/right-arm pace options and healthy spin stocks.

Pradeep's absence tests Sri Lanka's pace depth

Nuwan Pradeep was Sri Lanka's hero during the tense victory over Afghanistan with a match-winning spell of 4/31 but his unfortunate absence shifts the burden of spearheading the bowling attack onto the shoulders of veteran Lasith Malinga.

Pradeep suffered a hand injury during the practice sessions ahead of the Bangladesh game and his unavailability weakens the bowling resources.

Already short in confidence due to the abysmal show in the batting department, Pradeep's untimely injury causes further headache among Sri Lankan the team management.

Bangladesh look towards old warhorses for inspiration

Experienced campaigner Shakib Al Hasan was the chief architect of Bangladesh's remarkable triumph against South Africa as he cemented his status as the world's best all-rounder.

The left-hand batsman, who currently leads the run charts in the World Cup, alongside wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim forms the core of Bangladesh's middle order and the duo's contributions are immensely significant to the team's cause.

Meanwhile, senior opener Tamim Iqbal is lacking the usual crisp touch espoused by his prolific teammates and would be keen on getting a big score to kickstart his resurgence.

Weather forecast predicts gloomy affair

Heavy rain at the start of the day accompanied by intermittent showers throughout the presumed length of the match is expected to intensely affect the outcome of the game.

Rain has already been the spoilsport on two occasions in the past week, rendering the Pakistan-Sri Lanka and South Africa-West Indies encounters as wash-outs.

A stop-start cricketing action is to be expected as players from both sides would be hoping for a full contest since a point shared would do no benefit to the cause of either Bangladesh or Sri Lanka.


Bangadesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Abu Jayed, Liton Das (wk), Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Mohammad Saifuddin, Mosaddek Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Tamim Iqbal

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Nuwan Pradeep, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay