COLOMBO //Cricket fans have long memories in this part of the world. When Ireland played their potentially decisive group match against Bangladesh last week, a handmade sign in the crowd forecast "Revenge for April 15, 2007."
The defeat Bangladesh had suffered at the hands of the Irish at the last World Cup was a painful one, and one which stoked their fires in Mirpur this time around.
According to another placard, India were about to exact "Revenge for 1987," which was when England knocked the hosts out en route to a final against Australia.
Whether anyone will be particularly driven by revenge at the R Premadasa Stadium this afternoon is debatable.
Eight years ago, Kenya created one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history when they beat Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, in Nairobi on their way to the semi-finals.
Those days seem long gone now, and the fans here are unlikely to pay it much of a thought when the sides meet again.
The home side should not need much more than second gear to get past the beleaguered Kenyans.
The Kenyans are on borrowed time at this level, serving out a stay of execution which will last until the end of this group stage, then no longer, after the decision to cut four teams from the next World Cup.
They, more than any of the minnows playing this month, have proved the decision to be correct because of the manner of their two monstrous defeats, against New Zealand and Pakistan.
Jimmy Kamande, their captain, remained defiant yesterday. "Everybody has their opinion," he said.
"Obviously, I would like to see Kenya play in the final. We are here not just to participate, we are here to compete and go as far as we can."
This has been a dispiriting campaign thus far for Kenya, with the two losses already prompting recriminations.
Samir Inamdar, Kenya Cricket's chairman, suggested senior players had fallen out with Eldine Baptiste, the coach.
He was also quoted as saying he did not mind losing to Pakistan and New Zealand, "because they are obviously better than us, but we should be competitive".
"I haven't spoken to him so I don't know why he came out with those lines," Kamande said. "My team is very together.
"There is no point making excuses, we haven't performed well so far, but hopefully we can do well in the next few games.
"So far we have not been able to express ourselves well enough but hopefully we can do that this time.
"We have nothing to lose. [Sri Lanka] are the ones who are under pressure to perform. Having lost to Pakistan this is a must-win game for them, so hopefully we can put them under pressure."
Trevor Bayliss, the Sri Lanka coach, said his side do not need to look even nearly as far as the 2003 defeat to Kenya for motivation.
"The fact we didn't win our last game will [guard against complacency]," the coach said.
"Our guys are very conscious of playing consistently good cricket. Against Pakistan we played very good cricket for much of the match, but there were also a couple of periods where we didn't play very good cricket.
"Our guys know we can play a lot better than that, and we have played a lot better over the past two years and they will be out to show how good they can play."