Asia Cup Live: Bangladesh and Sri Lanka meet in the opening match of the tournament. © AFP
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will meet on Saturday in the opening match of the 2018 Asian Cup at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Bangladesh has been the surprise package in the last three editions of the Asian Cup, reaching the final of the tournament twice. However, with two new entrants in this year's edition, Bangladesh will be successful in getting out of the group stage. Bangladesh has been hit with Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in Group B. Meanwhile, after the departure of some big names, the fortunes of Sri Lanka have dropped drastically and the tournament will serve as the perfect platform to regain some pride. Selectors from Sri Lanka have retired fast bowler Lasith Malinga after a year in limbo and included him in his 16-member team. (Live Scorecard)
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Malinga, prone to injury, was ignored by the Sri Lankan national team since his last ODI appearance in September last year against India in Colombo when he only had a field for 35 races. Malinga has taken 301 ODI wickets giving away 8,705 races since its debut in July 2004. In the shortest format of the game, he has taken 90 wickets accepting 1,780 runs. Sri Lanka will head to the Asian Cup after winning the only T20I series against South Africa at home. However, they had lost the ODI 2-3 series against South Africa.
Live updates between Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI, 2018 Asian Cup, directly from Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Sri Lanka will have its sixth title in the 2018 edition of the Asian Cup. The last time Sri Lanka prevailed as tournament champion was in 2014. Bangladesh will be the favorite with Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Mustafiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahim present on the team. With Afghanistan, the third team of the group, both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will try to compete for the Super Four.