Colombo: Hosts Sri Lanka will aim to continue their recent domination against a beleaguered Bangladesh when the two teams meet in the Nidahas Twenty20 Trophy in Colombo on Saturday.
Sri Lanka will be high on confidence going into their second game after they surprised India in the tournament opener. Their recent record against Bangladesh is impressive, having beaten them in the away Test and T20 series besides the final of the tri-series, which also included Zimbabwe.
The way Sri Lanka played against India was even more impressive, comfortably chasing a stiff 175-run target courtesy a Kusal Perera special.
On the bowling front, pacer Dushmantha Chameera stood out while the Indians struggled to read the wrong-un of leggie Jeevan Mendis.
The openers, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka, began well but failed to make a substantial contribution, something they will look to change tomorrow.
After the India win, captain Dinesh Chandimal said the players are feeling good about their game and also gave credit to coach Chandika Hathurusingha, who was earlier with Bangladesh.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, are under the pump after a string of losses. The batsmen have not been able to rotate the strike enough in the middle overs, stopping them from putting up competitive scores.
The absence of star player and captain Shakib Al Hasan is bound to hurt them. “We should have scored a lot more runs, probably 30 more runs. They (India) executed their plans very well but we should have found ways to make more runs. We need to rotate the strike more often. The dot balls created a lot of pressure.
India chased down 140 easily with Bangladesh spinners not posing any threat to the India by bowling flat more often than not. They will have to come up with a fresh strategy against the Lankans.
The pacers bowled alright and Rubel Hossain stood out with two wickets. It is also a must-win game for Bangladesh as another loss will make it very difficult for them to make the final on March 18.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt. & wk), Suranga Lakmal, Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya De Silva.
Bangladesh: Mahmudullah (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Liton Das (wk).
Pitch and conditions
The pitches will get slower and more spin-friendly as the tournament goes on. There is a chance of showers in Colombo but the weather is expected to clear by 5pm.
Stats and trivia
Kusal Perera's 66 in the last game was his eighth T20I fifty - he joined Kumar Sangakkara as the Sri Lankan with the most fifties in the format without scoring a hundred.
Saturday 10 March 2018
Start time: 17:00 local (13:30 GMT)