Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, only Twenty20, Pallekele March 30, 2013

Bangladesh fancy chances against experimental Sri Lanka


Match facts

March 31, 2013
Start time 1900 local (1400 GMT)

Big picture

Whatever happens on Sunday night, Sri Lanka will look back on this tour and feel it has not gone as they would have liked. Bangladesh had never taken a Test to the fifth day in Sri Lanka, but they bettered even that achievement by keeping the hosts to a draw. Sri Lanka were made to fight hard in the second Test, and though they triumphed handsomely there in the end, they were embarrassed in the ODI series, when Bangladesh stormed home in Pallekele. Sri Lanka may have been missing Mahela Jayawardene, who has made home series a specialty, but Bangladesh have been without their star player in Shakib Al Hasan throughout the tour, and lost Tamim Iqbal after the first ODI.

Twenty20 is supposedly Sri Lanka's strongest format, but they will put the top ranking they earned during their World Twenty20 campaign on the line, in the final match of the tour. If Sri Lanka lose to ninth-ranked Bangladesh, they drop five ratings points, and will slip behind West Indies.

Sri Lanka's selectors have approached this match as a development game, and as such, Sri Lanka's ranking seems especially insecure. Of the 16 players in the squad, six have never played an international Twenty20, and among the uncapped, only Kithuruwan Vithanage has played at the top level in any format.

They also have a young, new leader, who for all his talent, had been unable to establish a place in any of the three national teams four months ago. Throughout the Tests and ODIs, Dinesh Chandimal was often in Angelo Mathews' company during talks on strategy, but although he holds a coveted school cricket record as a captain, his leadership qualities are burgeoning, rather than refined. Bangladesh are soaring after their last win, and are now faced with a significantly weaker Sri Lanka team. If there was any match against Sri Lanka in which they began as favourites, it is this one.

Critical to their chances is their bowling, which, despite the team's results, has been unconvincing throughout the tour. The fast bowlers in particular have been wayward in their opening spells - though they will not have Tillakaratne Dilshan to contend with in this match - and too much has been required of Sohag Gazi, whose own career is still in its infancy. If Bangladesh's attack can prevent a quick start, and put pressure on Sri Lanka's inexperienced batsmen, they will go a long way towards securing a heartening victory to cap off a terrific tour.

Form guide

(completed matches only, most recent first)
Sri Lanka: WWLWW
Bangladesh: LLLLW

In the spotlight

Dilshan Munaweera arrived in the Twenty20 side after an impressive Sri Lanka Premier League tournament, but was unable to produce the sustained assaults at the top of the innings through which he established his reputation. He is coming off a first-class 104 from 87 deliveries however, and will be keen to translate that form into his first notable international innings.

The man who has suddenly become the centre of attention on this tour is Nasir Hossain. His unbeaten 33 has become the most valuable innings for Bangladesh in the ODI series as it helped them grab a win and draw the series. Even the Sri Lankans are talking about him, so he would be one to look out for.

Teams news

Angelo Perera is the likeliest young batsman to debut in the match, though Kithuruwan Vithanage, who played in the Test series, may also be close to selection. The biggest conundrum for Sri Lanka will be how to replace the rested Nuwan Kulasekara. There are a slew of young allrounders in the squad, and among them, fast bowler Ishan Jayaratne and left-arm-spinner Chaturanga de Silva are the likeliest of the freshers to play. Sri Lanka may opt for a little more experience however, in which case Shaminda Eranga will play.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1. Kusal Perera, 2. Dilshan Munaweera, 3. Lahiru Thirimanne, 4. Dinesh Chandimal (capt & wk), 5. Angelo Perera/Kithuruwan VIthanage, 6. Angelo Mathews, 7. Jeevan Mendis, 8. Thisara Perera, 9. Shaminda Eranga/ Chaturanga de Silva/ Ishan Jayaratne, 10. Sachithra Senanayake, 11. Lasith Malinga.

There could be a temptation for Bangladesh to bring in Mosharraf Hossain as the third spinner and cut down on one batsman from the top-order. In that case, Mominul Haque - who has not done well in Twenty20s recently, may be chopped. A debut for Shamsur Rahman also beckons, especially after his BPL performance this season. But team sources have said that Mominul will continue to play while there is a high likelihood for Shamsur to make his international debut with Mosharraf's wait to return to international cricket set to be extended.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Ashraful, 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mominul Haque, 8 Ziaur Rahman, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Rubel Hossain/Shahadat Hossain.

Pitch and conditions

Sri Lanka's south-west monsoon rains appear to be making an early appearance, and with Pallekele quickly gaining a reputation as one of the wettest grounds in cricket, the match may be affected by the weather once again. The surface itself looks identical to the one used for the ODI, which had a little something for bowlers of all inclinations, but was far more favourable for batsmen.

Stats and trivia

  • Sri Lanka have not dismissed Nasir in a limited-overs match, in three innings. He hit 36 not out during the Asia Cup last year, and has was unbeaten on 73 and 33 in the ODI series. He has never played a Twenty20 against Sri Lanka.
  • In 12 innings, Chandimal's Twenty20 average is 14.83 and his strike rate 97.26
  • If Sri Lanka defeat Bangladesh, they earn one rankings point and extend their lead at the top of the table.
  • The game will be played on the 27th anniversary of Bangladesh's debut international match


"As a team we are at number one, and everyone is looking to keep that. We've trained really hard in the last few days, and hopefully that will pay off with a win."

Chandimal feels he has a responsibility to maintain a hard-won ranking

"Bowling in the Powerplay and the death is very important for us. We have to do well in these two periods. The bowlers are confident after not having a great tour."

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim on Bangladesh's weaker suit on this tour

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nuzhat on March 31, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    @Legend_of_All_Times: Soo true. He not only picks shahdat, he always makes him bowl, when the opposition is in crisis to make situation easy for them. And ofcourse in the slog overs when BD needs anyone else except Shahdat.

  • Sharif on March 31, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    LOL!! Yesterday, with expressing extreme level of disgust about Mushfiqur's XI selection method, I predicted that the next day Mushfiqur will pick up both Shahadat Hossain and Rubel Hossain in the match and by this Bangladesh team will definitely be a 9 men Squad before the game start. (Just search and watch my previous comment here). And Mushfiqur have done today the same what I said Yesterday! Bravo Mr. Mushfiqur! I should rather acquaint myself as Mushfiqur's Psychological Trainer from now! :P

  • Md. Fuad on March 31, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    Some comments of Skri Lankan fans made me understand that they r saying that their team is better than ours because of their past. Well in that case, Bangladesh has definitely a long way 2 go 2 achieve those number of success, but we Bangladeshis r talking about recent past that assures that our team is much better than Sri Lanka. They have to understand that we r playing without the best of the best players of our country like Sakib, Tamim & Mashrafi. Any one of them is good enough 2 snatch the victory from any team in the world but yet we have played pretty well by drawing a test and wining an ODI. So in this scence BD is much better team than Sri Lanka. You have no players like Sakib Al Hasan, Mashrafi, Abdur Razzak, Shohag Gaji, Nasir Hossain and Mahamudullah. Right now you only have Dilshan & Kumar Sangakara who you can easily proud of but what about other? will you compare the rest of the players of your team with ours? don't make me laugh if you've understood my point next time.

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    its really hilarious to see some of the comments made by BD supporters after previous game. True they are a good side for future. but they have long way to be equal Srilankans. Srilanka are one time world champions in 50 over cricket. 2 times runner ups. 2 times t20 world cup runner ups. Made semis in 2003. And in 2008/9 we were ranked no 2 in test cricket, and current no 1 in T20s. So we dont need D/L, rain or to loose major BD players to beat a team like BD. Its true u played well in 3rd onedayer. Dats how cricket is. But if we play 10 games we will fancy our chances to beat u at least 8 times. But we wanna see a improved BD side as ur an Asian brother of ours. But lets speak about the game with proper grounds mates.

  • Vihanga on March 31, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    de silva or Jayaratne should play.. Hope to see some pace and bounce from the young SL pacers. Nice opportunity test our bench strength. Eranga should be considered a test bowler in my opinion.

  • Sarah on March 31, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    @sohan_faisal ; You are utterly deluded pal. There are only a few players in the top league where Sanga and Mahela belong. There only 7 players who have reached 10000 mark in both test n odi in the HISTORY of Cricket. And 2 of them are from Sri Lanka. (2 Indians, 2 Aussies, 1 West Indian). Now do you understand the MAGNITUDE of their achievements ??? Your mediocre players are gonna surpass Sanga n Mahela ??? LOL Sanga is the fastest player to reach 10000 mark.Let alone their(Sanga n Mahela) amazing talents, what about their physical fitness??? Your mediocre players are spending half of the year on a hospital bed. lol Why do you, BD ppl make foolish comments like these all the time ?

  • Dummy4 on March 31, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Looking at number 11 in the probable squad... hey, do we need a pacer anyway??

  • Manik on March 31, 2013, 10:45 GMT

    I am a Bangladeshi and I know how disappointing the BD team sometimes. But still we keep hoping one day our players will keep their nerve strong and be consistent. I know SL will win but staying hopeful for BD. Number 1 team playing number 9 team; still we are hoping to upset SL as their top batsmen are resting/ injured.

  • Sohan on March 31, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    @ Srilankan 1984: Shakib:26 years, Sanga: 35 yrs, Mahela 35 years, Tamim 24 years, Dilshan: 36 yrs, Mush:24 yrs....why should some young brilliant players be compared to some old players? your oldies have already given wht they had to give...our boys will be giving their best for another 11 to 12 years and at that time your Sanga, Mahela, Dilshan will be surpassed by these young boys :-)

  • borhan on March 31, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Problem with BD is that they lost when they are top favourity ..even in world cup they were favorite against west indies but they got heavy defeat ...Malinga will be a problem other than that i don't see any real threat from SL 's young side ..but Its a brave decision from SL board ..they must have huge expectation from this young side ..Lets see how they perform