With England no doubt keeping a keen eye on proceedings today in Melbourne, for the latest Pool A ODI World Cup clash between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, it was the Sri Lankans who proved to be the convincing victors by 92 runs over their Asian rivals. Their two main heroes on the day were those two stalwarts of the side Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara, with well over 20,000 ODI runs between them in their careers, who once again shared a match-changing partnership in excess of 200 to take the game well away from their opponents.

The two sides in action today will be England's next two opponents in the group stages, and they will have been slightly disappointed one feels to see Sri Lanka (who they face on Saturday) rounding into such solid batting form.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Dilshan and Sangakkara put on 210 for the 2nd wicket, as both players hit fine unbeaten centuries, to claim their 21st and 22nd ODI centuries, respectively. Dilshan was the major run scorer for his side with 161, but his batting partner also contributed consistently to the score with 105 runs himself. Lahiru Thirimanne's contribution of 52 at the top of the order in partnership with Dilshan set the tone for the innings, as the first wicket made 122. 'The Tigers' did not help themselves to staunch the run rate by some inconsistent fielding, which assisted Sri Lanka in posting a large total of 332-1.

It always seemed an extremely tall order for Bangladesh to match such a formidable total, and they fell well short by the close of their innings, reaching 240 all out with three overs still remaining.

Advertisements

Top-scorer for them was Sabbir Rahman with 53. As ever, that fine exponent of ODI bowling Lasith Malinga was among the wickets for the Sri Lankans, taking 3-35.

The success has greatly boosted Sri Lanka's hopes of making the quarter-finals, as they have leapt up to second place in Pool A with four points from their three games. Should they defeat England in their next game (who currently lie sixth of the seven teams), it would be an uphill struggle for the Red Rose nation to gain sufficient points to make the top four in the group, with their fate probably relying on results elsewhere to go their way in that scenario. It already looks to be a three-way battle between Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and England for the third and fourth places in Pool A, assuming that both of the co-hosts of the tournament (Australia and New Zealand) maintain their current form. #Cricket