PV Desk

Bangladesh are determined to come all guns blazing for a winning start in the Asia Cup when they take on Sri Lanka, one of the hosts of the hybrid model tournament, tomorrow (Wednesday) at Pallekele Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

The match starts at 3.30PM (Bangladesh Time) and will be aired live in T Sports and Gazi TV.

Bangladesh would come as favourite in the match despite losing their last ODI series against Afghanistan– that too at their home condition.

The Tigers reached the final of the Asia Cup three times but never could lift the trophy. However they want to break that jinx in this edition with captain Shakib Al Hasan focusing on to winning start to get a momentum for the whole tournament.

“At this moment, we are just thinking about Asia Cup and more specifically thinking about our match against Sri Lanka and Afghanistan,” Shakib said ahead of leaving the country.

“We want to make a winning start. That’s key. After the Asia Cup, we’ll think about World Cup. But now our whole plan is revolving around Asia Cup.”

Of late Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka match produced some heated moments with the incident of Nidahas Trophy still fresh in the mind of the players of the two countries.

The match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka turned out to be tempestuous one as the players of the both team several times engaged in verbal spat. Bangladesh dramatically beat Sri Lanka in this match to move to the final but it seemed the defeat was hard to swallow for the Lankans.

Things got complicated when Bangladesh players brought out Nagin dance and had wild celebration in the face of Chandika Hathurusingha, the then coach of Sri Lanka, who apparently didn’t like.

As the things came to the fore, captain Shakib Al Hasan and Hathurusingha, who is now Bangladesh’s coach.

brushed aside the bitter experience in Sri Lanka’s backyard five years ago, saying that the team solely focused on to bring up their best result in the regional tournament, forgetting what happened in the past.

Since 2015, when Bangladesh established them as the giant of the ODI format, they had the upper-hand over the Lankans.

Moreover Sri Lanka was hit by injury and would miss the service of inform leg-spin allrounder Wanindu Hasaranga, who was the highest run-getter and wicket-taker in the recently concluded Lankan Premier League (LPL). Apart from Hasanranga, they will also miss some of the key players, due to injury, which is why, they are not dubbed as favourite despite playing at home.

Overall in Asia Cup, the two teams met 15 times with Sri Lanka winning 12 of them. But in the last five Asia Cup matches, Bangladesh won three, giving a testament how fast they closed the gap against Sri Lanka, who once was invincible against them.

In total, the two teams met 51 times in ODI format of cricket with Sri Lankan emerging as winner for 40 times while Bangladesh won 9 matches. The rest of the two matches were washed out.

Bangladesh: Shakib Al Hasan (Captain), Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Hasan Mahmud, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Mahedi Hasan, Naim Sheikh, Shamim Hossain Patwari, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Anamul Haque Bijoy

Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (capt), Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Matheesha Pathirana, Kasun Rajitha, Dushan Hemantha, Binura Fernando, Pramod Madushan