When these teams met in the warm-up 11 days ago, neither Bangladesh nor Sri Lanka thought they would play each other so soon. But after Bangladesh’s shock to Scotland and the removal of the ICC press release, both teams ended up in the same Super 12s team. By the way, any team that falls outside of this group, by the way, would have to be in some serious struggle; Australia, South Africa, the West Indies and England are the teams that didn’t have to qualify.
There are similarities between the two sides. Both have prominent stars: Shakib Al Hasan from Bangladesh, and Wanindu Hasaranga from Sri Lanka. Both sides have decent pace attacks – Sri Lanka have the pace of Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Kumara (both of whom frequently broke in the 145km / h qualifying phase), and Bangladesh have the relative experience and intelligence of Mustafizur Rahman. Sri Lanka will feel its onslaught right now. They were the best on the show in the first round, with teams of 96, 101 and 44 aside. And if Maheesh Theekshana is old enough to play the mysterious rider (he received side tension in the match against the Netherlands), Bangladesh will be facing an additional burden in trying to face him.
Bangladesh, however, has a more reliable middle order, although it has not clicked as it would have done so far. Sri Lanka’s most experienced player will probably be Kusal Perera, who has played 55 T20I entries; by comparison, Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah have played more than 90 entries each. In the first round, the Sri Lankan attack was able to cover up the shortcomings of their main demands, but Bangladesh are less likely to have Chameera’s short balls or Hasaranga’s googly frustrated Namibia, Ireland and the Netherlands.
Perhaps there are long-term trends to consider here as well. This time they don’t expect much from Sri Lanka, but they tend to act too much at world events – something that was also true at the 2019 ODI World Cup. The same cannot always be said about Bangladesh. If they want to turn that reputation around, they would start winning against a Sri Lankan team with the least experience in the team.
(games over, most recent)
Sri Lanka WWWLL
He has not shot in the tournament so far, but in matches against Sri Lanka, Mushfiqur Rahim he has rarely missed a chance to race. He has 239 runs against Sri Lanka at a 148 strike rate, easily the best record against Super 12 nations. However, he has not played a T20I against Sri Lanka since 2018, as Sri Lanka had such a different attack that not a single Sri Lankan player in the qualifying phase was in the XI. How will Mushfiqur deal with this team? And if Shakib’s races were enough to reach the Bangladesh Super 12, they need other senior riders to start getting the mark in the championship if they want to have a good campaign.
When Sri Lanka reached the Middle East, Lahiru Kumara XI was far from certain. In four training matches (two against Oman) and in the first round, Dushmantha has been even more spectacular than Chameera. The tournament has seven gates out of three outings so far, but what’s really impressive is the economy rate of 3.61. He is now an improved limited bowler, having worked with bowling coach Chaminda Vaas in recent months. His yorker has been particularly devastating over the past three weeks.
Field and conditions
Sharjah’s routes were low and slow, with support for rotators, at the end of the IPL. Temperatures are expected to be warmer. Since it’s the afternoon game, the dew isn’t a concern.
Sri Lanka are waiting for Theekshana’s physical condition as he was tense in the match against the Netherlands. If he doesn’t play, champion Akila Dananjaya will likely come.
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Kusal Perera (wk), 3 Charith Asalanka, 4 Avishka Fernando, 5 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 6 Dasun Shanaka (cap.), 7 Chamika Karunaratne, 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Binura Fernando, 10 Maheesh Theekshana / Akila Dananjaya , 11 Lahiru Kumara
Bangladesh have probably gotten their best XI so far, even if they wanted to look into including Nasum Ahmed, if they think the Sharjah pitch will be good for the rotators.
Bangladesh (likely): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Liton Das, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Afif Hossain, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Statistics and curiosities
“I don’t think what happened in the first round is worth so much now in the main event. Both teams are starting from scratch starting tomorrow.”
Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo how the two groups will perform based on the first round performances.>
“We’re working hard with Kumara to try to develop his skill. He was disappointed to get some things right. Especially the T20 cricket stats weren’t enough for his tremendous talent. For his own good, he put in a hard Yards. He did a great job with our coach Dilshan. I think those things that they have been well throughout the tournament. “
Sri Lankan bowling coach Chaminda Vaas About Kumara’s latest improvement.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is a reporter for ESPNcricinfo Sri Lanka. @afidelf