27 February 2015
Sri Lanka get their World Cup party started
A victory against England should see Sri Lanka finish third in Pool A, potentially setting up a quarter-final clash against South Africa
Three matches at the venue during the last two weeks have produced three completely contrasting crowd experiences. In the first match, the stadium turned gold for the home team. Last Sunday, Melbourne became Mumbai as almost 87,000 fans packed the stadium for India’s win over South Africa.
Last night, a vocal and passionate crowd of more than 30,000 filled the stadium with singing, chanting and flag waving for eight hours.
Sri Lanka fans came out in force to support their team, while Bangladesh proved once again it also has some of the most enthusiastic fans.
Tigers and Lions roamed the ground, musicians played and the festive atmosphere that has accompanied each World Cup match to date continued.
For Bangladesh, the match was its first ever at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. It was an experience the players were looking forward to ahead of the match, with captain Mashrafe Mortaza saying he looked forward to playing at the ground.
The chance to see their team play in Australia’s biggest cricket stadium was certainly relished by the fans on the day.
While their team could not pull off an upset win, they remained buoyant throughout, particularly enjoying Bangladesh’s positive and attacking playduring an innings that featured 23 fours and three sixes.
But the day belonged to Sri Lanka and its fans, who made up the majority of the crowd.
Sri Lanka’s big win was exactly what it needed after a disappointing result against New Zealand and a close call against Afghanistan.
It will head into Sunday’s all-important game against England filled with confidence, particularly after the way Tillakaratne Dilshan,
Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne dominated proceedings.
A victory against England should see Sri Lanka finish in third spot on the Pool A ladder, potentially setting up a quarter-final match against South Africa at the SCG.
For Bangladesh, a win would have almost made quarter-finals an almost certainty. But it remains above England on the ladder and their match on March 9 in Adelaide will still serve as a virtual elimination final.
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