Those days where Sri Lanka used to swat Bangladesh aside are long gone. Bangladesh’s rise coupled with Sri Lanka’s downfall has meant that these two sides have had some interesting battles in recent times. Unfortunately, their clash at the World Cup last month got washed away but here’s an opportunity to resume this interesting rivalry once again as they eye a fresh start. Bangladesh will be led by Tamim Iqbal this series following Mashrafe Mortaza’s injury. Their all time best player Shakib Al Hasan has also been rested. It will be interesting to see who gets to bat at 3 this series for the visitors.
For Sri Lanka, it’s once again a very vital phase as they look to rebuild and get back to winning ways. They were pretty good in patches during the World Cup but consistency has been lacking. Dimuth Karunaratne will continue to lead the team and Angelo Mathews’s last few outings in England will give that middle order some renewed hope. But we can put all that aside today with the focus solely being on one man. This man has been leading their pace attack for more than a decade with plenty of success and has finally decided to call it quits in the ODI format.
Lasith Malinga wanted to say goodbye in front of his fans and he has got his wish. Sri Lanka are going to have a hard time replacing this legend as well in their build up to the next World Cup. What would be your favourite Malinga moment? Mine is certainly those four wickets he picked off four deliveries to almost ensure South Africa suffer one of their famous chokes in the 2007 World Cup game. Can he get three more today and ensure he finishes ninth on the all time wicket-takers list? Let’s just hope rain doesn’t play spoilsport. Welcome to the live blog for this first ODI.