Cricket World Cup Day 11: Sri Lanka to lean on great once again

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Sri Lanka have been away from home since the middle of December. They have played Tests and ODIs against New Zealand, then stayed in the country for the start of their World Cup campaign. They are yet to play convincingly.

When they have managed to snatch a win, doing so three times in that span, the bats of their superstar trio, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, have been to thank.

Most recently it was Jayawardene who shepherded his side to victory. His knock of 100 ensured Afghanistan’s total of 232 in Pool A was successfully chased down and as Bangladesh loom into view for the side’s third outing in the group, it’s Sangakkara’s turn to take ownership.

Sooner or later Angelo Mathews’ side must learn to win without leaning heavily on the skills of their high-class batsmen, but for now their World Cup campaign depends on their wicketkeeper’s success against the Tigers.

Sangakkara is the third-highest scorer in ODIs against Bangladesh, who sit one point ahead of Sri Lanka in Pool A. In 27 innings against them, the stylish left-hander has 10 scores of 50 or more, with four hundreds, and has an average of 44.04.

Those numbers make the 11/10 on him scoring yet another half century against his favourite opposition a no-brainer as far as betting on the match is concerned.

Dilshan, who is 5/4 to record a half century of his own, also enjoys facing Bangladesh. He has three hundreds and one fifty in his last eight knocks against them, compiling an average of 75.50 in that time.

Should either of those two fire with the bat, then Sri Lanka can be confident of victory at 1/4. If Bangladesh manage to snare the pair, along with Jayawardene, for not many, then it’ll make those who take the 3/1 on a Tigers win extremely happy.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.