Pre-tournament, I had picked these two teams to finish 9th and 10th, with this match being essentially a battle for last spot. I had picked Sri Lanka to win it, as their one and only win, and Bangladesh to have none. Instead, both teams are sitting with one win from their first three matches, one win that neither should have. Bangladesh shocked South Africa, while Sri Lanka’s win was a much lower shock, against lowly Afghanistan. Sri Lanka also gained a point from a washout against Pakistan, and were briefly up as high as 3rd place. While in theory both teams can still make the semi-finals even with a loss here, in reality it is unlikely that either will make it, even if they do win, but they will want to win to keep those slim hopes of a semi-final berth alive.
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Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) Lasith Malinga will fire
Bangladesh are more well-known for their bowling than batting, and Lasith Malinga is one bowler who loves coming up against weaker batting line-ups. He could easily rip through the Bangladesh batting line-up.
(2) Shakib al Hasan will fail
I’d like to think that he can do well 4 times in a row but it just seems too much to me. He had three great matches out of three, but four? There’s only so much that one man can do, and I see him not taking wickets and getting out cheaply.
(3) It will be close
These are two teams well and truly in the lower half of the competition, yet both upset more fancied rivals. Granted that Sri Lanka only beat Afghanistan while Bangladesh’s win, against the far more impressive South Africa, was much greater, but they were still upsets. Whoever wins will be thinking that perhaps they can add a third win too, and maybe be a hint of a hope of getting into the semi-finals. Whoever loses will be feeling like their chances are just about over, as they’d then need to win probably every other match. It’s going to be tight.
(4) It will be low scoring
Bangladesh rarely get over 250 anyway and Sri Lanka may struggle to get too many themselves, so expect a score of around 230 or so, regardless of who bats first.
(5) Sri Lanka will win
I picked Sri Lanka pre-tournament and there’s no real reason to go against it now. While Bangladesh did beat South Africa, their other results proved that that was a one-off, and Sri Lanka had their own upset win against Afghanistan. Sri Lanka are higher up on the ladder and that may help with confidence too.