The sixteenth group stage match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup will witness a subcontinental clash between giant-killers Bangladesh and 1996 winners Sri Lanka.
The Bangladeshis start as firm favourites to outlast the islanders in the first encounter between both teams in this tournament.
The Tigers started off in impeccable fashion by registering their highest ever ODI total on the way to beating a distraught South African outfit.
However, they could not repeat their first-match heroics against New Zealand in the second match albeit they went down fighting till the last.
They then went on to lose to hosts and title contenders England by more than 100 runs in their third match, and would be looking to hit back at a relatively weakened Lankan line up.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka were soundly defeated by New Zealand in their inaugural match following which they were made to work hard for a win against minnows Afghanistan.
Its third match against Pakistan at Bristol was washed out, and Dimuth Karunaratne’s side will be aiming to register two points with a win over Bangladesh tomorrow.
Bangladesh (Probable XI): Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Mustafizur Rahman.
Sri Lanka (Probable XI): Dimuth Karunaratne (C), Kusal Perera (WK), Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga.
Tamim Iqbal vs Lasith Malinga
Tamim Iqbal’s role would most definitely be prominent if Bangladesh are to register a competitive total on the board.
The starts that he gives often solidify the team’s position and that is exactly why the southpaw’s significance can not be stressed enough.
Tamim has scored 6695 runs in 196 matches with a satisfactory average of 35.99.
His strike rate of 77.93 is surprisingly low for a dasher, but the opener has been a really consistent player for the Tigers ever since he broke into the national squad.
The 35-year old Lankan veteran Lasith Malinga has stood the test of time, and has been an absolute legendary performer for the island nation over the years.
The slingy fast bowler will be gunning for glory in his last World Cup and will be trying to emulate his match-winning heroics against Afghanistan.
Malinga has 325 wickets from 220 ODI matches with a strike rate of 32.55.
The battle between Tamim Iqbal and Lasith Malinga is billed to be an intriguing one.
However, Tamim has opted to work with caution in this tournament so far although the seaming pitch at the Bristol County Ground is expected to aid Malinga’s cause.
Hence, we expect Malinga to come up trumps in this particular contest.
Shakib Al Hasan vs Angelo Mathews
Arguably the best all-rounder of recent times, Shakib Al Hasan is the backbone of the Bangladesh team by all means.
Shakib is the go-to bowler for Mashrafe Mortaza as he not only curbs the flow of runs, but also gets wickets at crucial junctures of the game.
The Bangladesh talisman has set the World Cup ablaze due to his extraordinary batting displays, but he has been great with the ball as well.
The ICC Number 1 All-rounder has picked up 252 ODI wickets from 201 matches, and has a decent average of 30.26 and a strike rate of 40.69. Shakib also has a stellar economy rate of 4.46 in ODIs.
Angelo Mathews is one talented player who has been at it for more than a decade.
An excellent cricketing mind, Mathews used to be one of the best all-rounders in the ODI circuit thanks to his more-than-handy medium pace bowling, brilliance on the field and exceptional batting.
The former Sri Lankan skipper does not have the burden of being one, and this could benefit his team as it might set Mathews free on his own.
The middle-order batsman boasts of 5381 runs from 206 matches, with an average of 41.39 coupled with a good strike rate of 83.16.
This battle has the potential of being the blockbuster kind, and we feel that Shakib might have a slight edge on the Bristol wicket.
To know more interesting facts, play quiz on our Sportsqwizz app: http://onelink.to/quizmenow
Considering the team chemistry and form of the Bangladeshis pitted against the uncertainty that clouds the Lankan team, one would only anticipate a Bangladesh win.
But Sri Lanka are consistent performers in the World Cup, and can not be ruled out outrightly.
Predict this game in our Sportsqwizz app and stand a chance to win Sony PS4: http://onelink.to/quizmenow