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.
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.
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.
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.
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