Sri Lanka’s experience and quality predictably took a group of T20 veterans through qualifiers and into the Super 12 of the 2021 ICC Men’s World Cup. Now, skipper Dasun Shanaka’s team face Bangladesh at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday. Like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh also progressed from qualifying and possess several match-winners, including captain Mahmudullah.
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In the United States, the match (6 a.m. ET start time) isn’t on TV, but anyone in the US can watch Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh live on ESPN+ right here:
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Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh Preview
Shanaka is part of a batting order that can be prolific in any game. There’s genuine strength in depth thanks to Pathum Nissanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perera. Most of the notable names have delivered during the tournament so far.
Nissanka slogged his way to 61 from 47 balls to help inspire a 70-run win over Ireland. Hasaranga was even better, hitting 71 off 47, including 10 fours. It was left to Perera to be the key man when Sri Lanka beat the Netherlands by eight wickets. The 31-year-old brought up 33 with the bat, smashing six fours in the process.
The game against the Netherlands was more remarkable for what Sri Lanka did with the ball. Hasaranga starred for an attack that decimated the Dutch order. He took a trio of wickets and allowed a mere nine runs during three overs. It wasn’t all about Hasaranga, though, because Lahiru Kumara also claimed three wickets. The pacer has shown no signs of struggling on the slower pitches in the UAE.
Kumara and Hasaranga could take on bigger roles against Bangladesh because Maheesh Theekshana is set to miss out. He’s dealing with a side strain, according to teammate Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who spoke to Cricket.com (h/t CricTracker). Not having Theekshana available will rob Shanaka of the option of varying the attack with some spin.
Bangladesh will still be confident about making a dent in the Sri Lanka attack. The team has arrived here thanks to wins over Oman and Papua New Guinea. Mohammad Naim struck a classy 64 against Oman, while Shakib Al Hasan chipped in with a solid 42.
Naim couldn’t replicate his heroics against PNG, when he was bowled for a duck by Kabua Morea. Fortunately, Al Hasan hit a 46 highlighted by three sixes. His efforts were supplemented by Mahmudullah’s 50. He’s an asset in the middle order, while Mohammad Saifuddin offers a heavy hitter late doors.
Saifuddin and Al Hasan are also making a difference with the ball. The latter took three wickets against Oman then claimed four more during the win over PNG. Mustafizur Rahman adds some oomph to the bowling contingent as a left-armed pacer who can quickly wreck an innings. Rahman was outstanding against Oman, taking four wickets and bowling 17 dots across four overs.
Sri Lanka’s know-how and proficiency with the bat gives the Lions the edge in most matches. Yet Bangladesh are one of the few nations in the tournament with the array of bowlers capable of unseating Shanaka and Co.