The first T20I between Bangladesh proved to be a high scoring encounter with almost 400 runs scored on aggregate. Sri Lanka ended up on the winning side quite comfortably, and now they have a chance of clinching the series with the second and last T20I of their very successful tour to Bangladesh.
The hosts, on the other hand, will be disappointed that a side chased down their 193 in 16.4 overs. They have lost the Test series, and are on the verge of losing the T20I's as well. Can they save this series, or will Sri Lanka clinch this one as well?
Dinesh Chandimal(c), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Shehan Madushanka, Jeffrey Vandersay, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Jeevan Mendis, Asitha Fernando, Kusal Mendis
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Hider Rony, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Mehdi Hasan, Zakir Hasan, Afif Hossain, Nazmul Islam, Mohammad Mithun
Where the Teams Stand
Kusal Perera’s injury turned out to be a massive blessing in disguise for his side. It resulted in Kusal Mendis receiving his chance at the top, and he made it count by scoring 53 off 27 balls. Thisara Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Dasun Shanaka were brilliant as well, scoring at a blistering rate to win it for the Lankans. The victory came after eight consecutive losses in T20's, and it could not have come at a better time. Upul Tharanga and Niroshan Dickwella were disappointing on a pitch tailor made for batsmen, but if they start contributing to the score as well, the Lankans will make quick work of the Bangladeshi bowlers. The Lankans were efficient enough that Dinesh Chandimal didn't even need to leave the pavilion, earning a convincing victory for a side that desperately needed one.
Jeevan Mendis was the pick of the bowlers in the last match. He ended with figures of 3-0-21-2, bowling at an economy well lower than his teammates. The pacers took a beating, with all of them having economies of over nine. Poor bowling has been a constant feature of the T20 side, and they cannot keep relying on the batting to bail them out of trouble. They have only done so once in the last nine matches. Still, if they win the toss, the Lankans must bowl first given how unreliable their bowling is. One never knows how much the batsman will need to score to feel confident, and chasing seems to work for the Lankans anyway. Like the first match, this fixture will also rely on the teams’ batting abilities. Sri Lanka retain their superiority in that department.
The only way Bangladesh can defeat the Lankans seems to be to bowl better. Tamim Iqbal’s return will surely give the batting a much-needed boost, but the visitors still have a superior lineup. If the home side can bowl well and restrict the opposition to a low score, they might just level the series. Their main bowlers, Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain, were both far too expensive in the previous match, with economies of 10.7 and a staggering 14.2. They will have to pull up their socks if their team is to win the next match. Nazmul Islam was surprisingly good on debut, ending with figures of 4-0-25-2. He will also be an important part of the effort along with the two pacers.
Soumya Sarkar was another player to put in an unexpectedly great performance for his side. The opener scored 51 off 32 balls, providing Bangladesh with close to one-third of their runs, not counting extras. Besides him, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim were the ones to ensure Bangladesh crossed 190. Tamim Iqbal’s inclusion will further strengthen the top order, a positive sign for the home side. One change, however, which skipper Mahmudullah needs to make is to promote himself above Afif. As captain and one of their best batsman, he needs to be the one facing a large portion of the deliveries to give his side the best score they can manage. Bangladesh are incorrigibly over-reliant on these four players, a problem the Lankans do not face. It will take something special from Bangladesh for them to defeat the Lankans.
Sri Lanka win. The Lankan batting and bowling both are superior to the Bangladeshis’, with less concentration of responsibility amongst the batsmen. On paper, they are clearly the better team.