Next up in the super 12s is Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka. Both the sides wouldn't have expected to play this match against each other, but square off thanks to Sri Lanka winning Group A and Bangladesh finishing as Group B runners-up behind Scotland in round 1.
These two sides join Australia, South Africa, England, and the West Indies in what looks like an extremely competitive group in the Super 12 phase.
In a battle between two sides that should revel in the conditions, the bookies can't separate the two, with both teams priced at 1.91 to win this match. Both head into the contest after dismissive victories in their respective last games against P.N.G. and the Netherlands.
Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka T20 World Cup
Team News for Bangladesh
Bangladesh entered this World Cup full of confidence after beating Australia and New Zealand in successive T20 series. However, all the momentum they had gathered came to an abrupt halt following a shock defeat to Scotland in their opening Group B game. Bangladesh have been playing knock-out cricket ever since, edging a nervy encounter against Oman and then dismantling P.N.G. to reach the Super 12 phase.
They have grown into the tournament and will be pleased to have qualified. In Shakib Al Hasan, they have an absolute superstar. Shakib has heavily contributed with both bat and ball, and in the first game against Scotland, he became the all-time leading wicket-taker in international T20 cricket.
Shakib is priced at 4.33 to be his side's leading batsman and 2.10 to take over 1.5 wickets in the match, both of which could be good bets.
Likely playing 11 of Bangladesh
M. Rahim, L. Das, N. Sheikh, A. Hossain, S. AL-Hasan, S. Sarkar, Mahmudullah, M. Rahman, T. Ahmed, M. Saifuddin, N. Ahmed
Team News for Sri Lanka
Even with having to qualify for the Super 12 phase, Sri Lanka are always the dark horse when it comes to these global tournaments. Despite being a small country, Sri Lanka have won this tournament back in 2014 and have also won the 50 over World Cup; they are always a threat.
Nobody will be looking forward to facing this Sri Lankan side who easily cruised through Group A with three comfortable wins against Namibia, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
Sri Lanka's bowling attack has been on absolute fire, dismissing their opponents for just 44, 101, and 96 runs. All of the bowlers have been contributing, with Dushmantha Chameera, Wandindu Hasaranga, and mystery spin option Maheesh Theekshana all constantly bamboozling their opponents.
Both Chameera and Hasaranga can be backed at 2.25 to take over 1.5 match wickets each, and considering how the Sri Lankans have been sharing the wickets amongst one another, this could be an excellent way to play.
Likely playing 11 of Sri Lanka
Avishka Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Karunaratne, Akila Dananjaya, Maheesh Theekshana
Pitch and Weather Conditions
This contest will take place in Sharjah, which will hold happy memories for Sri Lanka as this is where they destroyed the Netherlands on Friday.
When it comes to hosting international T20 cricket, Sharjah is a young ground and has only played host to 15 matches. Sharjah can be slow, as indicated by the first innings average score of 141. For those batting second, the average drops all the way to 125.
Teams that bat first tend to have more success, with 9 wins for these sides compared to 6 for the chasers.
On a deck that will aid the spin bowlers of both sides, we could be in for an absolute cracker.
Betting Predictions for Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka
Let's take a look at a few important betting predictions for Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka:
Match Result Prediction
Despite the bookies not being able to separate these sides, it's clear to us that Sri Lanka have been playing the better cricket up to this point. You could also argue that the opposition they have beaten has been harder, with Ireland, the Netherlands, and Namibia being some of the better emerging nations. Sri Lanka have qualified without getting out of third gear.
On the other hand, Bangladesh hasn't been as fluid, and some of their players look to be struggling with the conditions or are just out of form. The Tigers deserve massive credit for the way they have responded to the shock defeat by Scotland, but against the better oppositions that are to come, they will need more; otherwise, they might find the Super 12 phase a struggle.
Conditions in the U.A.E. play such a huge part, and Sri Lanka already having one match under their belts in Sharjah will give them an edge. There is no doubt that this game will be close, but we think Sri Lanka are the side to be with here.
Match Winner: Sri Lanka (1.91)
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Either team to win the toss can be backed at 1.91. On a pitch that could be hard to bat on, the side that wins the toss will want to bat to make the most of the better batting conditions before scoring gets harder as the game goes on. Any score over 150 should be very hard to chase.
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Top Batsman for Bangladesh
We have already sung the praises of star player Shakib Al Hasan, but another batsman who has played well for Bangladesh has been captain Mahmudullah. Mahmudullah missed the first game due to a minor back problem; it's perhaps no coincidence that Bangladesh has won both games since his return.
Mahmudullah is a class player to have down the order, and his 50 off just 28 balls was a pleasant reminder as to what he can offer to his team.
Priced at 8.00 to be his side's top scorer could be a great bet.
Mahmudullah to be Bangladesh's top run-scorer (8.00)
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