Bangladesh look to give Mashrafe victorious send-off
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Start time 1900 local (1330 GMT)
The second T20 international against Sri Lanka will be Mashrafe Mortaza's last, and Bangladesh will be keen to farewell their captain with a victory. If Bangladesh come back from Tuesday's thrashing and win, the T20I series will end in a draw, like the ODI and Test series did.
Sri Lanka, who were clinical in the first game, will look to stretch Bangladesh's losing streak in T20Is to nine.
It was the returning Kusal Perera who led Sri Lanka's charge in the first match with a 53-ball 77. He found little support from the other end, but that did not stop Sri Lanka from acing a chase of 156. Lasith Malinga, predictably, was Sri Lanka's most effective bowler with two wickets. Vikum Sanjaya's swing, Asela Gunaratne's dibbly-dobblers, and Seekugge Prasanna's accurate legspin ably complemented Malinga.
Mosaddek Hossain and Mahmudullah played cameos to rescue Bangladesh's innings, but the side will need more from the top order, especially Soumya Sarkar who has a tendency to throw away starts.
To give Mashrafe the perfect send-off in this format, Bangladesh will have to improve their fielding, and they also must find a way to absorb pressure. That is how they won at the P Sara Test and Dambulla ODI.
Sri Lanka WLWWW (completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Kusal Perera's renewed vigour enabled him to make a match-winning half-century in the first game, and now will look to blend that vigour with consistency.
All eyes will be on Mashrafe Mortaza, who had announced his retirement from T20Is at the toss in the previous game. Will it turn out to be a happy ending for Mashrafe?
Sri Lanka are likely to retain their winning combination from the first T20I.
Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Upul Tharanga (capt), 2 Kusal Perera (wk), 3 Dilshan Munaweera, 4 Chamara Kapugedara, 5 Asela Gunaratne, 6 Seekkuge Prasanna, 7 Milinda Siriwardana, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Nuwan Kulasekara, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Vikum Sanjaya
Bangladesh, on the other hand, might consider replacing Taskin Ahmed with offspinning allrounder Mehedi Hasan, who is uncapped in T20Is.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mosaddek Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt.), 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Taskin Ahmed/Mehedi Hasan
Pitch and conditions
The second T20I will be played on the same pitch that was used for the first one. It is expected to be good for batting, but is likely to assist the spinners as the game wears on. Showers have been forecast for the day but the chance of rain in the evening is small.
Stats and trivia
- Mashrafe Mortaza will finish his T20I career as Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker among fast bowlers.
- Bangladesh have now lost eight T20Is in a row, their second-worst run in the format
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84