Lasith Malinga and Sri Lanka can make one last indelible mark on the Cricket World Cup.
India have booked their place in the semi-finals, and Sri Lanka can ruin Virat Kohli and Co's bid to top the standings in their group match finale on Saturday at Headingley in Leeds.
On the same ground two weeks ago, Sri Lanka upended the tournament by shocking title favourite England. England's semi-final bid was put in jeopardy, and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan all came back into semi-final contention. England didn't put out those fires until two days ago when it advanced to the last four.
The shaggy-haired Malinga, 36 next month, has rolled back the years. He's replaced the injured Nuwan Pradeep as the strike bowler in a chaotic campaign, and his dozen wickets in the last five games have lifted him into the World Cup's top three wicket-takers in history.
This match will also mark the last World Cup outings for at least Angelo Mathews, bowler Suranga Lakmal, and allrounder Jeevan Mendis in the oldest team in the tournament. But Malinga ties the team to its last great era, having featured in the 2007 and 2011 World Cup finals, where he took two wickets in both losing causes.
The teams haven't met since 2017, when they played nine matches. India won seven, but Sri Lanka won the biggest, in the Champions Trophy at the Oval in a chase of 321. Malinga took two wickets on the day, including Rohit Sharma's.
Sharma has four hundreds at this World Cup, tied with Malinga's old teammate, Kumar Sangakkara, for the most in a single edition. Stopping Sharma from a fifth gives Malinga another motivation to try and finish his World Cup career in style.
The previous game at Leeds between West Indies and Afghanistan did not encounter any interruptions due to weather. The Saturday game is expected to be no different. However, the forecast is not expected to be fully sunny, with cloud cover expected in phases, according to Accuweather. The chances of precipitation are pegged at 20 percent. So there might be some rain but the chances of that during the play is very low.
The maximum temperature at Leeds will 20 degree Celsius while a minimum temperature of 12 degree Celsius is expected.
With inputs from AP.