After suffering a disappointing series loss to Sri Lanka, the Asia Cup 2014 was thought to be the perfect opportunity for Bangladesh to find redemption. As hosts they would have been expected to ruffle a few feathers and maybe even go all the way after falling at the final hurdle a couple of years back.
Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the situation has only become more bleak with Bangladesh losing their first three matches, including a morale-sapping loss to Afghanistan, and with it throwing away their chances of even remotely making the final.
So, the last match of the round-robin phase of the Asia Cup 2014 is just academic with Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka in Mirpur, an opportunity for one team to pick up one much-needed victory before the World T20, with the second set to use it as a practice match of sorts ahead of the big final against Pakistan on Saturday.
"It is very important to develop the winning habit," Bangladesh wicketkeeper Anamul Haque said. "I think we lack that experience, so maybe that's why we keep losing from winning positions. We are learning a lot from these situations. The mistakes I am seeing right now, won't exist in the future. We will start winning close matches."
Bangladesh at least showed they had fight in them in their last game, where they went down to Pakistan in a humdinger, despite posting their highest ever ODI total. The batting finally came to the fore, but Pakistan's big-match experience and Shahid Afridi proved to be the difference in the end, allowing Misbah-ul-Haq's team to march into the final.
At the other end, Sri Lanka are having the near-perfect tournament - unbeaten in all three of their games, including massive wins against fellow big guns Pakistan and India. Kumar Sangakkara has been supreme with the bat for the Lankans, while Lasith Malinga has stepped up with the ball when needed, with the spinners, particularly Ajantha Mendis, also proving to be more than handy.
"We know what Lasith Malinga or Kumar Sangakkara can do," Anamul added. "We have played three ODIs and two Twenty20s recently. They are ahead of us in every way, so we are discussing ourselves.
"We will be aware of not repeating the mistakes that we committed against Pakistan. If we repeat our batting and do well in the other departments, we will have a good result against Sri Lanka."
Asia Cup 2014: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live TV information (Match starts 2 pm local time, 1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET)
|India||Star Sports 1,Star Sports 3 andStar Sports HD1|
|Canada||CBN andATN Cricket Plus|
|United Kingdom||Star Life OK|
|Bangladesh||Channel 9 andStar Life OK|
|Sri Lanka||MTV Sports|
Asia Cup 2014: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Live Streaming information (Match starts 2 pm local time, 1.30 pm IST, 8 am GMT, 3 am ET)
Team news: Bangladesh: After an impressive performance with the bat in their last game, the hosts are unlikely to make any changes in that department. But, the bowlers came up a little short in trying to defend the big total, and a couple of changes could be afoot.
Sri Lanka: Sachitra Senanayake missed the last game for Sri Lanka and could return, while the management might also consider resting Sangakkara and Malinga. The former being given a rest will be a little difficult with Sri Lanka not holding any pure batsmen replacement, even if all-rounder Ashan Priyanjan could come in, with Dinesh Chandimal taking the gloves.
Expected lineups: Bangladesh: Anamul Haque, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Ziaur Rahman, Mahmudullah, Shafiul Islam, Abdur Razzak, Al-Amin Hossain.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Chaturanga De Silva, Thisara Perera, Ajantha Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Dhammika Prasad.