Champions trophy: Happy memory boosts Bangladesh ahead of SL clash

Mohali, October 6:

Bottom-placed Bangladesh will seek inspiration from their historic victory over Sri Lanka when the two teams open the Champions Trophy one-day tournament here on Saturday.

Bangladesh, ranked last in the 10-team tournament, turned the form-book upside down when they stunned Sri Lanka by four wickets in the second one-dayer of a three-match home series at Bogra in February this year. That remains their only triumph in 17 one-day internationals against Sri Lanka.

“We definitely have this (win) in mind and we have to believe that we can beat them again,” Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar told reporters on Friday.

Sri Lanka were without key bowlers Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas, but the Bangladeshi captain said his team were confident of perfoming well against the full-strength opposition this time.

“They (Sri Lanka) will be stronger this time, but anything can happen in one-dayers. If things go according to our plans, it might be our day tomorrow,” said Bashar.

Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, defending champions West Indies and Zimbabwe will play qualifying matches before the main tournament starts on October 15.

Each side will play three league matches before the top two advance to the main draw that features world champions Australia, England, India, South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan.

Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene said his team just could not afford to take any opposition lightly as every match mattered.

“Bangladesh are a good outfit and have been regularly playing international cricket for past five to six years. They have beaten big teams in one-dayers. The defeat at Bogra was also a lesson for us,” he said.

Sri Lankan coach Tom Moody said the qualifying matches would help his side adjust to Indian conditions before the real action begins. His team are expected to make it to the main draw on current form.

“We are looking at it (qualifying round) from a positive point of view,” said Moody, a former Australian one-day specialist. “We will play three matches before the main tournament begins and this will help players adjust to the conditions. We are taking it very seriously as every match is important for us.”


Qualifying round (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, West Indies, Zimbabwe)

Oct 7: Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Mohali

Oct 8: West Indies v Zimbabwe, Ahmedabad

Oct 10: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe, Ahmedabad

Oct 11: West Indies v Bangladesh, Jaipur

Oct 13: Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, Jaipur

Oct 14: Sri Lanka v West Indies, Mumbai

(Top two teams advance to the main tournament)

Main tournament

Group A (Australia, India, England, Qualifier 2)

Group B (South Africa, New Zealand, Pakistan, Qualifier 1)

Oct 15: India v England, Jaipur

Oct 16: New Zealand v South Africa, Mumbai

Oct 17: Pakistan v Q1, Jaipur

Oct 18: Australia v Q2, Mumbai

Oct 20: New Zealand v Q1, Mumbai

Oct 21: Australia v England, Jaipur

Oct 24: South Africa v Q1, Ahmedabad

Oct 25: New Zealand v Pakistan, Mohali

Oct 26: India v Q2, Ahmedabad

Oct 27: Pakistan v South Africa, Mohali

Oct 28: England v Q2, Ahmedabad

Oct 29: India v Australia, Mohali

Nov 1: Semi-final A1 v B2, Mohali

Nov 2: Semi-final B1 v A2, Jaipur

Nov 5: Final, Mumbai

(all matches begin at 2.45pm NST)