It’s time for us to turn our attention to the Asian giants of cricket. The Asia Cup 2018 is about to get underway in the U.A.E. The tournament begins with the Group B match where Sri Lanka will take on Bangladesh at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai. Just like all other matches of the series, it’s going to be a day-night encounter.
Both the teams have been off the field for a while. Sri Lanka last played against South Africa at home in August. While they won the Test series, the Proteas got the better of the hosts 3-2 in the ODI series. Bangladesh was on the tour to the Caribbean previously. They lost the Test series but emerged victorious in the ODI and T2oI series.
Traditionally, Sri Lanka has had an edge over Bangladesh in ODI cricket. But the Mashrafe Mortaza-led side has grown leaps and bounds in the recent times. Earlier, Sri Lanka would have been the clear favorites but Bangladesh seems a bit stronger than the opposition in this Asia Cup.
Here is our prediction for the game
Case1: If Bangladesh bats first
First Innings score prediction: 260-270
Result prediction: Bangladesh will win the match by 30-40 runs
Case2: If Sri Lanka bats first
First Innings score prediction: 230-240
Result prediction: Bangladesh will win the match by 5 wickets
Head to head in ODIs
Total ODIs: 44, Sri Lanka won: 36, Bangladesh won: 6, No Result: 2
The opener Tamim Iqbal was in a top-notch form against Windies. He scored 2 centuries and a fifty in 3 ODIs and was the premier reason for Bangladesh’s series victory. There’s a doubt over the fitness of their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan but he might play despite the injury. Having Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah in the middle-order, the side possesses a strong batting line-up.
The skipper Mashrafe Mortaza will spearhead the bowling attack. He has lost a lot of pace in the recent years but his captaincy has done a world of good for the nation. Rubel Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman are the other quality pacers while Mehidy Hasan and Shakib will trouble the opposition with spin.
Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman
Upul Tharanga didn’t have a great series against South Africa while Niroshan Dickwella had a decent outing. But the skipper Angelo Mathews hinted that Kusal Mendis might open alongside Tharanga. Mathews was the best batsman for Sri Lanka against the Proteas while Kusal Perera also turned up with good numbers. The all-rounders Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka provide a good balance to the line-up.
Sri Lanka has recalled Lasith Malinga for Asia Cup. He hasn’t been in the best of forms of late but the experience will certainly help. This series will decide whether the pacer will be in contention for the World Cup 2019. Akila Dananjaya’s absence will provide an opportunity to Dilruwan Perera to make his ODI comeback. Suranga Lakmal is an experienced campaigner and will lead the pace attack.
Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga