Colombo: Mashrafe Mortaza has revealed that he never enjoyed Twenty20 cricket because the duration was so short that it never allowed him to get into the groove. He will be retiring from the format after the second T20 International against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Thursday.
It has been a memorable tour for Bangladesh. It drew the Test and One-Day International series, and needs to win the final game to share the honours in the T20I series too.
It will be the first time since it became a Test nation in 2000 that Bangladesh will end a full tour to a higher-ranked nation on even ground.
The impact of that can only be felt in years to come, and go a long way in boosting coach Chandika Hathurusinghe’s aspirations of making Bangladesh a world leader in cricket by 2019.
Mortaza said he was stepping down in order to give deserving youngsters more chances to prepare themselves for tougher challenges.
A poor batting show overshadowed the milestone. After Mortaza won the toss, Sri Lanka’s steady bowling restricted Bangladesh to 155 for 6. Then, Kusal Perera hit a 53-ball 77 to get the job done with seven balls to spare.
While Perera would want to replicate his formula and Lasith Malinga would want to get his bearings right before joining Mumbai Indians for the IPL, Bangladesh would be keen to level the series to give its captain the perfect send-off.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (capt), Kusal Perera (wk), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dasun Shanaka, Vikum Sanjaya, Milinda Siriwardana, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkuge Prasanna, Chamara Kapugedara, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya.
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy, Sunzamul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin.
Pitch and conditions
An unusually hard surface might afford some help to the fast bowlers early on. There is a slight chance of rain in the evening.
Stats and trivia
Thursday April 6, 2017
Start time 1900 local (1330 GMT)