The Asia Cup shifts to Colombo for its remaining matches, as Sri Lanka faces Bangladesh. With concerns over rain and pitch conditions, both teams aim to secure a spot in the final.
Colombo, September 8, 2023 – The Asia Cup cricket tournament has taken an unexpected turn as it relocates to Colombo for the remainder of the matches, including the highly anticipated summit clash scheduled for September 17. This relocation comes after seven matches were played in Multan, Pallekele, and Lahore.
Sri Lanka, the host nation, has won both of their matches in the tournament so far. However, their victories were hard-fought. In their first match, they struggled to chase down a modest total of 165 against Bangladesh, scraping through with a narrow five-wicket win. In their second game, they narrowly escaped a stunning comeback by Afghanistan, clinching victory by just 2 runs. The Sri Lankan team’s bowling performance has raised concerns, as only two bowlers managed to keep their economy rate below 7 runs an over against Afghanistan.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, has been facing serious issues with their batting lineup, especially in the absence of Nazmul Shanto, who was ruled out of the tournament due to a hamstring injury. This loss has significantly impacted their batting depth. The bowling department, however, has shown promise, but consistency remains a challenge for the team.
The upcoming match will be pivotal for both teams as they aim to secure a spot in the final. Rain could play a significant role, with an 80% chance of showers forecasted in Colombo. The pitch at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo is known to be initially sluggish before favoring batsmen as the match progresses. Spinners are also expected to find some assistance from the pitch.
As the tournament shifts to a new venue, fans can expect to see a slightly different Colombo track due to preparations for the remaining six games. Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are likely to stick with their current playing XIs, with minimal changes expected, barring any injuries.
Probable XIs for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh:
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis (w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana.
Bangladesh: Mohammad Naim, Mehidy Hasan, Litton Das, Towhid Hridoy, Mushfiqur Rahim (w), Shakib Al Hasan (c), Shamim Hossain, Afif Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Hasan Mahmud.