A dress rehearsal to the World T20
February 12, 2014
Start time 1700 local (1100 GMT)
Bangladesh are tenth in the ICC's Twenty20 rankings. Sri Lanka are No. 1. The hosts have little to lose in the two-match series but they will be desperate to cause an upset, if only to show the side is unaffected by Tamim Iqbal resigning the vice-captaincy and the other changes in leadership.
With Mahela Jayawardene back in the T20 line-up after missing the games in UAE, Sri Lanka are likely to test the combination they will field at the World Twenty20 next month: a blend of youth and experience. Kusal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan have the responsibility of firing the innings, Kumar Sangakkara and Jayawardene will steady the middle order, and the captain Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews will provide the end assault. Lasith Malinga will lead the bowling, with Thisira Perera, Nuwan Kulasekera and Sachitra Senanayake completing the attack.
Mashrafe Mortaza has been given charge of Bangladesh's T20 team in the absence of Mushfiqur Rahim and he will have to manage an environment made delicate by Tamim's stepping down.
Bangladesh's counter will be led by openers Tamim Iqbal and Shamsur Rahman. If Tamim's neck problem rules him out, Anamul Haque will have to fill that role. Shakib Al Hasan and Nasir Hossain will be in charge of the middle order, helping the likely debutant Sabbir Rahman, Bangladesh's best domestic Twenty20 batsman. Shakib will also have to lead the bowling.
Form guide(Completed matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka WLWWL
Watch out for
Bangladesh need a plan to stop Kusal Perera from running away the game, like he did last year in Pallekele. Perera scored a first-class hundred two weeks ago, and made 84 in Sri Lanka's last Twenty20.
Shamsur Rahman is Bangladesh's form batsman. He is an aggressive opener, always on the front foot and quick on the drive. Sri Lanka will be aware of the impact he can have.
Tamim has a slight neck strain while Shamsur was down with fever two days before the match. Both are expected to play though. Mithun Ali is expected to keep wicket in Mushfiqur Rahim's replacement, though Anamul Haque is also an option. Arafat Sunny is also another likely starter; he could replace Al-Amin Hossain.
Bangladesh (likely) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Shakib Al Hasan 4 Mominul Haque, 5 Mithun Ali (wk), 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah/Sabbir Rahman, 8 Farhad Reza, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 11 Arafat Sunny
Jayawardene will return home after splitting the webbing on his left hand while taking a high catch during practice and will be unavailable for the rest of the T20s and ODIs. This is the same area where he injured himself while trying to grab a low chance in the slips in the first innings of the Dubai Test against Pakistan last month. Also, Lahiru Thirimanne's injury means the No. 7 slot could go to Seekkuge Prasanna, or Angelo Perera.
Sri Lanka (likely) 1 Kusal Perera, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Mahela Jayawardene, 4 Kumar Sangakkara, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (capt & wk), 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Seekuge Prasanna/Angelo Perera, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Sachitra Senanayake, 11 Lasith Malinga
Pitch and conditions
The Chittagong surface will be flat once again. There will be little lateral movement, and the fast outfield could make for a high-scoring game.
Stats and trivia
- The Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong will be hosting its first Twenty20 international.
- Bangladesh will not climb the T20 rankings even if they win 2-0. Sri Lanka will cede the No. 1 spot to India if they lose 2-0.
- Jayawardene will become the second Sri Lankan after Dilshan to play 50 Twenty20 internationals.
- Mortaza will be Bangladesh's fifth Twenty20 captain. He has already led in seven ODIs and a Test match.
"Every single game now is important for us before the World Cup. We have to get prepared with the conditions and weather."
Sri Lanka batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here