Lanka must be at their best to beat Bangladesh
CRICKET: Sri Lanka will have to play at their best if they
hope to beat Bangladesh and make further progress in the World Cup when
they meet at this picturesque venue on Thursday.
Bangladesh served notice of what to expect from them when they
stunned the cricket world and India beating them by five wickets on
The Indians who arrived here as one of the favourites to take home
the World Cup were completely outplayed by the Bangladeshis who played a
fine team game to dump the Indians.
The Sri Lankans will have to be extra careful because the Bangladesh
coach Dav Whatmore knows the weak and strong points of most of the
Lankans and would have spent hours with his pupils telling and showing
them how to go at the Lankans.
The Lankans would certainly have been jolted when Bangladesh beat the
Indians and would have got down to more serious practice and sharpened
their strategy and tactics. A win against Bangladesh would make the
Lankans breathe easy because their chances of moving into the Super 8
would be that much more easy.
The Lankans too are one of the favourites to repeat their previous
world cup success. The conditions would not worry the Lankans, because
it is very much similar to the conditions existing back home. The sun
shines brightly and there is a little bit of humidity.
While the conditions would not worry them, the pressure that the
Bangladeshis would apply would be tremendous. But the Lankans have the
firepower to bring down the Bangladeshis.
The wicket here at Queens Park is playing true and batting or bowling
first would not be a bonus. But it would be advantageous if the Lankans
could bat first, post a huge score and put the opponents under pressure.
At the time of writing the Lankans have not decided on the team they
would play. Whether they would opt to go in with the team that beat
Bermuda or whether to slot in the experienced Marvan Atapattu would be
their only problem.
The team that played Bermuda had strength allround. Batting ran down
deep and the bowling had enough sting. The Lankans must be tight with
Although dropped before scoring, skipper Mahela Jayawardena came back
to form with a splendid 85 which should give him the necessary
confidence to get back into the run making act that he is known for.
Runs should also come from the bats of Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul
Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Chamara Silva, Tillekeratne Dilshan and
The Bangladeshi batsmen have shown a weakness when up against the
cunning spin of Muttiah Muralitharan and the clever seam and swing of
Lasith Malinga with his deceptive action could also trouble the
opponent batsmen. Bangladesh have a good bowling side. Medium pacer
Mashrafe Mortaza moves the ball both ways and is a difficult proposition
when he strikes a length.
Spinners Abdur Razzak and Mohammed Rafique are penetrative spinners
and would be difficult to counter.
In the game against India, 17-year-old debutant Iqbal Khan shone with
a steady knock. Half centuries also came from Iqbal, Rahim and Hassan
and runs are expected from them.
However Bangladeshis strong point is their brilliant fielding.
With both teams striving to keep their hopes alive, an interesting
and a no quarter asked or given match is on the cards.