Bangladesh v Sri Lanka Preview: Keys to Success
25 February 2015, Nirapad News: As we reach the real meat of the group stages of the 2015 World Cup, Bangladesh find themselves on the verge of a quarterfinal berth. Bangladesh are matched up against long-time Asian neighbors, Sri Lanka. The Tigers have form and confidence on their side, and as such, enter this game with perhaps their best shot at beating the perennially-formidable Lions. With a opening match win against Afghanistan, and a washout against co-hosts, Australia in Brisbane, Bangladesh enter the contest with 3 points and a super net run rate of +2.100. A win against Sri Lanka at the historic MCG, will almost guarantee a spot in the quarterfinals. Although the Bangladesh dressing may be expected to be in a bit of turmoil in the aftermath of the Al Amin affair, Bangladesh have bounced back from trauma and tragedy to resounding victories before. The best example being the 2007 World Cup win vs India the day after the death of Manjurul Islam Rana, and the 2008 victory over New Zealand, our first international after the ICL saga. This is a game, Bangladesh has every chance of winning and the boys will be camped up for the encounter.
Keys to Success: Batting
The grounds in Australia are considerably larger than most other countries, especially Bangladesh, and the MCG has one of the deepest boundaries in the world. Hitting boundaries will be difficult, and the onus should be on knocking the ball into singles and forcing Sri Lanka’s tired old legs to run. In the Afghanistan match at Canberra, Bangladesh compiled their runs as follows:
Boundaries (4s + 6s): 27
Runs from Boundaries: 114
Runs from Running: 153
Non-boundary Balls Faced: 273
Singles Strike Rate: 56 (153 off 273)
A singles strike rate (SSR) of 56 is not bad. At the two preceding matches played at the MCG, Australia and India batted first, and put up 300+ totals vs England and South Africa respectively. Their SSRs were:
Australia: 66 (172 off 259)
India: 58 (153 off 264)
The MCG has a larger field, Sri Lanka’s bowling is not as threatening, and their fielders are older and slower and thus Bangladesh should target an SSR of at least 60 against Sri Lanka. This will add another 11 runs to our total, and we should look to post at least 280 if given the opportunity to bat first.
Focus Area: Sri Lankan Bowling Attack
Sri Lanka have never been known to be a bowling powerhouse. With legends like Chaminda Vaas and Muttia Muralitharan long gone, Sri Lanka have a new cast of characters led by the spearhead, Lasith Malinga. However, Malinga is severely out of shape and his form has suffered as a result. The Sri Lankan attack lacks pace, and relies on consistency and assistance from the conditions. The wicket at the MCG did offer considerable bounce during the recent India-South Africa match, but it shouldn’t be anything that seriously troubles the Bangladesh top order. Intelligent cricket should see the Tigers home.