Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh: Third T20 squads, preview, and prediction
Both these teams have played one game each, against the same opponent with contrasting fortunes. Sri Lanka was the one to win then, will they win again?
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have both played a game against India each so far. The former lost to an ordinary Indian lineup which dropped at least four catches and relied too heavily on Dhawan; the latter won despite India putting up a score in excess of 170.
The affair is poised to be a one-sided encounter. Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh convincingly in both the T20s they played before this tri-series, and Bangladesh’s performance against India is not an encouraging sign. Will Sri Lanka romp to victory again?
Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed, Taskin Ahmed, Imrul Kayes, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Abu Hider Rony, Liton Das, Mahmudullah (c)
Dinesh Chandimal (c), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera
Where the teams stand
Bangladesh possess the same lineup that was being hailed as one of their best ever not too long ago. Indeed, their performances have not done justice to their abilities as a unit. However, as of now they are hugely dependent on three batsmen to score the runs for them. Tamim, Mahmudullah, and Rahim will have to take the responsibility of getting their team to a decent score. The rest have rarely ever been consistent on the international stage. They might chip in with great performances from time to time, but to expect much from them is a mistake.
Bangladesh’s biggest problem in the bowling attack is Rahman’s inability to replicate his brilliance from the IPL. His toe-crushing yorkers were unplayable, consistently earning him prized wickets. Recently, the left-armer has found little success with the ball. He took a wicket in the last match against India, but his team needs him to be doing much more. Hossain was the pick of the bowlers last time. He finished with figures of 3.4-0-24-2. Mehidy Hasan was also economical, but wicketless. These two bowlers will be key for Bangladesh throughout the tournament if Rahman fails to improve.
Sri Lanka’s reversal in fortune has come at a good time for them. After the worst cricketing year they have ever suffered, 2018 has been kind to them so far. Their batting has improved, with Shanaka, Kusal Perera, and Mendis finally scoring crucial runs at a good rate. All the batsmen in the lineup got off to a decent start, but failed to convert them, except Perera. He smashed 66 in 37 balls to take his team to victory. Include Thisara Perera, Tharanga, and Chandimal, and Sri Lanka have a power-packed top seven, who have an added advantage playing at home.
Like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka have some problems in their bowling attack. It simply does not possess the teeth to humble a batting lineup, or to dominate the innings. They have been wasteful and expensive, with marginal returns on the expense. Chameera, Dananjaya, and Pradeep all had economies above 8. Pradeep even crossed 12. Thankfully for them, their batting is capable of covering up for the bowling. The same cannot be said for the Bangladeshi batsmen.
Sri Lanka win. They have been on a roll with the bat recently, and they look good to dominate against a weak Bangladesh side.