Sri Lanka Lost in the First Match: A ‘Ray of Hope’ for Bangladesh

Sri Lanka started their World Cup journey with a bitter defeat against the red-hot South African team where they were packaged only in 77 in 19.1 overs. SA gave no room for SL to stay competitive in the game as the African cricket giant secured 2 crucial points with a high net run rate to move further towards the second stage of this mega event.

While Sri Lanka ended up with a poor defeat, it has now become a source of hope for Bangladeshi fans because if they can defeat Sri Lanka in their very first game on 8th June, then their road to the Super 8 stage will be much smoother.

Match Summary: Sri Lanka vs South Africa

As all the groups have members with a range of strengths, it was expected that the Sri Lanka vs South Africa match would be a thrilling one for the similarity of strengths. Unfortunately, there was no excitement left after the first innings ended, with only 77 runs scored by Sri Lanka.

Leading the bowling side of South Africa with 4 wickets in 4 overs with expense of only 7 runs, A. Nortje played the key role in destroying the Sri Lanka batting line-up. K. Rabada and K. Maharaj joined the party, taking 2 wickets each, obstructing Sri Lankan batters to fight back.

When South African bowlers grabbed all the lights, Sri Lankan batters simply surrendered against the South African aggression. When Kusal Mendis top-scored with a quick 30 off 19 balls, none of his teammates surpassed at least 20 runs which resulted in such a poor team total. In response, South Africa comfortably reached the target with 4 wickets down, taking 16.2 overs.

Despite a comfortable win, South Africa could have increased their NRR if they had finished the match earlier. However, they are already in a dominating stage with this win whereas Sri Lanka is in deep trouble and has no way but winning the next matches.

Brief Summary of the Match

  • Toss: Invited South Africa to field first
  • Sri Lanka: 77 (19.1)
  • South Africa: 80/4 (16.2)
  • Result: South African won by 6 wickets.
  • Player of the Match: Anrich Nortje (SA)

Analysis of Sri Lanka’s Performance

When modern-day cricket is all about scoring huge runs on the board and defending, Sri Lanka was not wrong to start aggressively with the hope of scoring around 200. However, playing at the newly constructed Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in the USA, they may have underestimated the risk of batting on an unfamiliar pitch. Despite high-scoring norms in T20 cricket, this miscalculation likely contributed to their low total, compounded by a possible lack of tactical direction during their batting struggles.

However, the bowlers should be appreciated for taking 4 wickets of South Africa so quickly. This also proves that the pitch was not much batting-friendly. At least, a 140-150 score could have entertained the fans with tough competition. However, starting the match with such hope that they got a reality check with this performance and their potential to move to Super 8 is in serious question.

South Africa’s Dominance

South African bowlers bowled like the genuine show stoppers spending only 77 runs to take 10 wickets of Sri Lanka! The dominance shown by both pace and spin bowlers is remarkable and helped South Africa not just a win but also a NRR of 1.048!

Understanding that the pitch is not batting-friendly, Nortje utilized his late swing ability which rewarded his team with absolute control over the match with early wickets. Other bowlers also contributed with one or more wickets and good economy. However, the batting performance should be analyzed losing early wickets while chasing such a low total indicates that the South African batters need to be consistent and read the pitch properly to set their strategy in the next matches.

With this dominating win, they are not just in the top position with 2 points, but also achieved a good NRR assuring their spot in Super 8 as their remaining matches are against Bangladesh, Netherlands, and Nepal; teams not having a not a good recent form!

Hope and Implications for Bangladesh

Bangladesh faces both an opportunity and a challenge after Sri Lanka’s defeat by South Africa. While Bangladesh has time to prepare, other teams in the group are wary of South Africa’s dominance. A victory over Sri Lanka in their upcoming match would significantly boost Bangladesh’s prospects by eliminating Sri Lanka, the competitor with less NRR.

Well, all these discussions may sound pointless as Bangladesh team has displayed a miserable show of consistently poor performance for the last few months with a 2-1 series loss against the USA. The only warm-up match against India (as the other one against the USA was washed away) was also not convincing enough to boost their morale.

It’s also worth remembering that they had conceded a defeat against the Netherlands in the last ODI World Cup who are also in their group this time. Even they have lost the home T20 series against Sri Lanka by 2-1 this year.

Yet, Bangladesh can be optimistic considering their past performances against Sri Lanka in some mega events. Back in 2018, Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka with a last ball 6 by Mahmudullah and the “Nagin Dance” celebration was all around instigated the rivalry. In the last ODI World Cup, the controversial “Timed Out” of Mathews ignited the rivalry once again.

As Bangladesh is desperate to secure 2 points against Sri Lanka whereas Sri Lanka is looking for a remarkable comeback, the 8th June match is supposed to be a treat for the fans with an excitement of intense competition. 

The Broader Picture: Group Dynamics and Future Matches

So, in Group D, all the teams except Bangladesh have already played 1 match where South Africa and Netherlands achieved 2 points each. With the highest NRR South Africa is undoubtedly in the top position and Sri Lanka is in the bottom for the poor display.

At this stage, the remaining fixture is going to be crucial. The Netherlands, being an experienced side with a record of defeating both South Africa and Bangladesh in the last ODI World Cup in India yet struggled to win against Nepal which indicates that Nepal is not a team to take lightly.

Despite having poor T20 records, Bangladesh had a series win against South Africa last year. Thus, it’s the right time to sit tight and experience the thrill of Group D battle.


No matter how many difficulties the Bangladeshi players, especially the batters are facing in recent times, they are believed to be able to bounce back strongly in the main stage. Like hitting the iron when it is red, Bangladesh is looking for an all-out effort to defeat their Asian rivalry Sri Lanka when they are in hot water and thus strengthen their group position.

With the matches played on, the calculations are supposed to be complex and thrilling. Let’s see if Bangladesh can play a flawless game against Sri Lanka to ensure the crucial win and boost their chances of reaching the Super 8.


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