• Sunday, Dec 08, 2019
  • Last Update : 06:32 pm

Tigers slight favourite in first T20I

  • Published at 10:43 pm December 16th, 2018
Fizz
Bangladesh's Mustafizur Rahman bowls during training in Sylhet Sunday as pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh looks on Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

The Tigers have surprisingly enjoyed a better year in the shortest format in the game compared to the Windies, winning four out of 13 games whereas the visitor have won just two out of 12

Bangladesh will be looking to continue the positive momentum after defeating the visiting West Indies 2-0 in Tests and 2-1 in the ODIs in the first of the three-match T20I series, which starts Monday in Sylhet.

The match is scheduled to begin at 12:30pm, Bangladesh Standard Time, and the visitor will be buoyed by the inclusion of players like Evin Lewis, who has plenty of big-hitting prowess and a wealth of experience of playing T20s in the sub-continent, especially via the likes of the IPL and BPL. 

The Windies are however, on a five-game losing streak in the shortest format, where they are considered the most dangerous, and have won the World T20I twice – the only side to do so. 

On the other hand, Bangladesh will be also taking positives from the last T20I series between the two sides where the visiting Tigers defeated the Windies 2-1 in the series in Florida, earlier this year. 

The Tigers have surprisingly also enjoyed a better year in the shortest format in the game compared to the Windies, winning four out of 13 games whereas the visitor have won just two out of 12.

The Caribbean side have struggled against the spinners of the home team in the Test matches and then the ODIs and the conditions in Sylhet are expected to give assistance to the spinners. 

There is forecast of rain so the toss could prove to be decisive. 

Opening batsman Shai Hope has been the one bright spot for the Windies in their tour so far scoring 297 in the ODI series, and was the hero of the only match they won, the second ODI in Dhaka. 

He has been dealing with an injury but T20I captain Carlos Brathwaite has ensured that Hope will play even if he is not fully fit. 

For Bangladesh, the only injury concern has been the captain Shakib al Hasan. 

The premier all-rounder suffered a knock on his toe from an in-swinging yorker by Saifuddin and as a result didn’t come to the pre-match press conference, where coach Steve Rhodes came instead. 

But the coach said it is a small injury and he would be fully fit for the game Monday. 

Fast bowler Rubel Hossain and spinner Nazmul Islam Apu might also get a chance in the starting XI for the first game, whereas Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das are the two that are most expected to open the batting for the Tigers, especially given Liton’s performances against the Windies in the last T20I series. 

There might be some confusion and decisions to make for the team management as to how the batting order pans out from there onwards with Shakib or Soumya Sarkar slotting in next and all of Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah are expected to be in the XI.

Whatever the case, Sylhet will be in for a treat as a feisty contest can be expected.

Bangladesh        Head to head    West Indies

9            T20Is        9

4            Wins        4

50            Win %        50

1            No result    1

Tamim Iqbal (227)    Most runs    Marlon Samuels (226)

Tamim (88*)        HS        Samuels (85*)

Shakib al Hasan (11)    Most wickets    Keemo Paul (6)

Shakib (4/34)        BBI        Samuel Badree (4/15)