Rex Clementine in Dallas

After their disappointing show in the opening encounter in New York against South Africa, Sri Lanka are under tremendous pressure to lift the game in their second encounter of the World Cup against Bangladesh on Friday.

Sri Lanka crashed to a heavy defeat in their first game after being bowled out for their lowest total in T-20 Internationals, but they are too good a team to make a first-round exit.

Batting hasn’t clicked as a unit and Sri Lanka will be hoping that they bring up their best game in the must win clash.

The former champions aren’t expected to make too many changes for the game, at least in the bowling front. They opted to play Matheesha Pathirana and Nuwan Thushara against South Africa, and they are expected to bank on the two slingy bowlers.

Thushara had claimed a hat-trick the last time he played Bangladesh and that will be back in the minds of Bangladesh batters. That means, the more experienced Dushmantha Chameera sits out from the game.

One change Sri Lanka could do is to bring in middle order batter Dhananjaya de Silva in place of Sadeera Samarawickrama, who has struggled during the warm-up games before falling for a duck against South Africa.

Sri Lanka have won 11 of the 15 T-20 Internationals against Bangladesh including two games in T-20 World Cups (2007 and 2021). They also beat them in the recent bilateral series in Bangladesh.

However, Bangladesh are a team on the rise. Their quicks – Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman and Shoriful Islam are terrific with the new ball. The team’s batting revolves around captain Najmul Shanto while all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan is a seasoned campaigner.

Young players like Jakar Ali and Rishad Hossain have come up with several match winning efforts. Although Sri Lanka have a slight advantage, Bangladesh can certainly pull this off and earn a place in the second round.

It has been hot and humid in Dallas and which means in a day-night fixture the toss could be vital.