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Bangladesh look to prove mettle against formidable Sri Lanka

  • Published at 10:36 pm April 3rd, 2017
Bangladesh look to prove mettle against formidable Sri Lanka
The match gets underway at 7:30pm, Bangladesh standard time, and Channel 9 and Ten 3 will telecast it live. Bangladesh trained hard in the evening session on Monday after taking a day off on Sunday. The Tigers will be looking to end their tour of the island nation on a winning note as both the Test and ODI series ended 1-1. Bangladesh have never won a T20I against the Lankans. But this is perhaps their best chance to clinch a positive result as the visiting side are currently high on confidence, thanks to their Colombo Test and first ODI win. Bangladesh have plenty of options with regards to their playing XI as off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz could make his T20I debut. Seamer-allrounder Mohammad Saifuddin is also in contention for a starting XI berth. Left-arm spinner Sanjamul Islam is another option for the Tigers. According to the Tigers team management, the playing XI will only be decided just before the match after assessing the pitch and conditions. Limited-over captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza admitted that they have to play very well to beat the experienced Lankans in the shortest format of the game. “They have some impact players like [Chamara] Kapugedera, [Lasith] Malinga and [Dilshan] Munaweera. They can turn around the game. This team won in Australia and South Africa. Winning in South Africa is very hard for Asian teams, so this team of theirs are doing well in this format. They are confident,” Mashrafe told the media in Colombo on Monday. [caption id="attachment_56282" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and assistant and fielding coach Richard Halsall brief their charges AFP[/caption] “It won’t be easy for us if we don’t play at our best. We will try to give our best. We are playing a different format, in which our recent performance hasn’t been that great. We are hoping to play to our potential. We have to try to win the first match, which is very important. It gives us an advantage,” he said. Mashrafe believes Bangladesh boast many players in their squad who can change the course of the game in the blink of an eye. “Asia Cup (2016) performance was our best ever T20I display. We couldn’t finish well in the World T20 last year. We are getting better but we haven’t reached our desired level. Most of the other teams are doing better than us in T20Is. The more our younger players play T20Is, we will become a better side in this format,” he said. “We have a lot of impact players but they have to settle down first. We have Sabbir Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Shakib al Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim. They have to combine to play well, which is important,” he added. In contrast, the Lankans have a terrible record at the Premadasa, losing 10 of their 11 T20Is here. With that said, their recent T20I form will give them a lot of confidence. Sri Lanka overcame the likes of South Africa and Australia, that too away from home. And the inclusion of death-bowling expert Malinga and in-form all-rounder Thisara Perera will only bolster Sri Lanka's chances. “We have to take strength from the way we played the last ODI, and especially the way we fielded there. That’s what we’ve got to keep doing. On the batting front, we’ve got to be consistent in getting those runs as well, and that has to carry over to the T20I format. In Australia, we’ve chased 170-odd as well. Even here, if we can get and chase 180 – scores like that – that would be the best thing,” said makeshift Lankan skipper Tharanga. Teams batting first have a good record at the venue. On 14 occasions out of 23, the game was won by the side batting first. As far as weather is concerned, there is a slight chance of rain in the evening so toss could prove to be an important factor.
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