Bangladesh v Sri Lanka: Cricket World Cup 2023 – live | Cricket World Cup 2023

Key events

6th over: Sri Lanka 29-1 ( Nissanka 23, Mendis 1) Taskin is bowling nicely and he opens this over with a nut, moving the ball away from Mendis and just past his outside edge. But then he breaks a run of 13 straight dots by turning into the on side, before another luscious straight drive from Nissanka turns a good over for Bangladesh into a decent one for Sri Lanka.

5th over: Sri Lanka 24-1 ( Nissanka 19, Mendis 0) Shoriful needs to support Taskin, but again he slants one short, wide and across Nissanka – the lefty angle isn’t helping him here – who gets on top of the bounce and wastes through cover for four. A two follows, and he’s seeing it nicely.

“The way India is performing in this WC is bordering on illegal,” says Krishnamoorthy V. I am reminded of Asterix and Obelix wading through the Roman garrisons, leaving them hanging from tree tops and lying scattered on the floor. It is almost scary. The famous ‘law of averages’ applies only to an average team I guess.”

It’s the attack, isn’t it? We’ve seen lots of fine batting sides, but it’s relatively rare we come across bowlers as good. It’s also relatively rare the best side in the groups is the side dancing about with a pot at the end of the competition, but it’ll take Germany 1954 behaviour to stop these.

4th over: Sri Lanka 18-1 ( Nissanka 13, Mendis 0) You can see this is a track on which you’d like to bat. It doesn’t just come on, it sits up, and if Mendis, who’s been in poor form since assuming the captaincy, will know that if he gets in, he can make a statement. So he plays out a maiden, wearing Taskin’s fifth delivery on the pad – it jags back in nicely – and in comms, they want a second slip in – which makes sense, as the last ball, whizzes through the corridor, Mendis keeping away from it.

3rd over: Sri Lanka 18-1 ( Nissanka 13, Mendis 0) Lovely from Nissanka, riding the bounce outside off by getting on tippy-toes to ease four through point … then presenting the full face fo fo mo. Two absolutely beautiful shots those, though Shoriful was perhaps a little full … and another wide one is shoved through extra to the fence! Twelve off the over!

Email! “I’m here because I have a soft spot for SL,” says Ido Admon. “Gotta admit that even though I had South Africa as pre-tournament favourites, I was quite pleased for yesterday’s result – means those recent humiliations by India are not Lanka-specific!”

India ust look miles better than everyone, don’t they? Imagine the teeth-gnashing if they don’t win it, it’d make Italy losing to Argentina at the 1990 World Cup look like jelly and ice cream.

2nd over: Sri Lanka 6-1 ( Nissanka 1, Mendis 0) I think Shakib took out a slip before the wicket in order to have a square leg, and Shoriful perhaps threw it wide because Perera was clearly going after everything. The ball was full, inciting the drive, and the bounce we mentioned earlier meant the shot was a bit uppish. Nissanka gets off the mark with a flay to third, the only run from this first Taskin over.

WICKET! Perera c Mushfiqur b Shoriful 4 (Sri Lanka 5-1)

Perera slashes at one outside off and the ball flies towards Shoriful’s face at first. Then, out of nowhere, Mushfiqur comes flying in front to take a wondrous one-handed grab!

1st over: Sri Lanka 5-0 ( Nissanka 0, Perera 4) There’s a bit of bounce in the track and the first ball flicks off Nissanka’s thigh pad and they sneak a leg bye. This brings Perea onto strike and he shows his intention immediately, hammering a short, wide one into the pitch; he didn’t quite time that, because it was there to be clobbered. No matter, another one into the same area and he laces four through cover.

Shoriful Islam has the ball…

Righto, off we go, and play.

I daresay batting first isn’t bad for Sri Lanka, because any kind of scoreboard pressure will be a problem for Bangladesh. I’d not trust either of these to chase anything.

Anthem time. I do like Sri Lanka’s, it’s so nicely jaunty.

Here come the umpires … and the teams.

Talking of Manjrekar…

Chris Silverwood, Sri Lanka coach, says there’s been some good bits and bad bits, noting that though they got clattered by India, that’s the best white-ball attack we’ve seen in a bit. He’s had to build his players back up after their shellacking but they’re a developing team and have to bring confidence and spirit to the game, believing in themselves and each other. A win today would put the Lankans in a nice spot for the Champions Trophy, so he’s hoping for that.

Confession corner: my 10-year-old is 10 today, and has been bought a pair of totally plain Air Force 1s. Totally plain! I know! I’m not a monster, I promise. Her favourite colour is purple

Sanjay Manjrekar delivers the pitch report in a fedora, like it’s perfectly normal behaviour. Perhaps it’s contagious, because Bumble recently started dressing like an undercover detective. Anyroad up, this is the second-most prolific track in the tournament and boundaries are pretty short, so there are scoring opportunities out there.

Teams!

Sri Lanka: 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Kusal Perera, 3 Kusal Mendis (capt, wk), 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Maheesh Theekshana, 9 Kasun Rajitha, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Dilshan Madushanka.

Bangladesh: 1 Litton Das, 2 Tanzid Hasan, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk) 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Towhid Hridoy, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Tanzid Hasan, 11 Shoriful Islam.

Kusal Mendis would’ve fielded too, but is now targeting 300+. Sri Lanka make two changes, Dhananjaya and Kusal Perera replacing Karunaratne and Hemantha.

Bangladesh win the toss and will field!

Shakib thinks it’s a good wicket but it’ll be hard to bowl at night with the dew. His team haven’t met expectations, but this is another game in which they can fulfil their potential. Mustafizur is injured, Tanzid Tamim comes in.

Both of these sides have struggled with their batting, so might fancy this track. The ball should come on, question is whether there’s anyone in either lineup with the confidence to take advantage.

I’m being unfair. If you’d paid in and got to see Virat scoring a home World Cup birthday ton, you’d’ve took it. But a close match would be nice.

Another banga:

I said earlier this is gratuitous cricket and it is, but the top eight here qualify for the Champions Trophy; currently Sri Lanka are seventh and Bangladesh ninth.

Preamble

Greetings all! We’re at that point aren’t we?

Bangladesh are already out of the competition – even England beat them! – which Sri Lanka aren’t far off, needing to win here then against New Zealand on Thursday, while also hoping Afghanistan lose to Australia and South Africa and Pakistan lose to England. Don’t laugh.

As such, this feels like an exercise in gratuitous cricket – for most of us, during the working day too – and there’s not much this world has to offer which is better than that, so let’s dive in.

This tournament being this tournament, both sides have been badly beaten-up in the games they’ve not won. But both also have plenty of players good enough to grace any match and, if nothing else, today is a chance to enjoy while we still can the terrific Angelo Mathews, Mahmudullah, Mushifiqur, and Shakib al Hasanm– all of whom could be playing in their final World Cup.

Play: 2pm local, 8.30 am GMT

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