Mirpur: It will be a battle between the pace attacks of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka as the two teams square off in a crucial round robin league match of the Asia Cup Twenty20. (Read More in Asia Cup)
The match assumes significance as the winner will take a giant step towards qualifying for the summit clash of the tournament.
For Bangladesh, a victory is a must as they have already played two matches winning one and losing against India in the opener.
Both the teams beat minnows United Arab Emirates in their opening games. Sri Lanka did not need much effort even though the margin of their victory was 14 runs while Bangladesh were more convincing in their 51-run win.
But both teams had poor outing as far as their batsmen are concerned. Sri Lanka managed 129 against an inexperienced UAE attack while Bangladesh were no better in their 133-run effort.
It will be a battle of bowlers with Sri Lanka being led by their dashing captain Lasith Malinga, who rocked the opposition with a four-wicket haul. Mustafizur Rahaman had an off day against India, but against UAE, he showed why he is rated so highly as he was on the verge of a hat-trick. Even UAE captain Amjad Javed conceded that it was not easy to read Mustafizur’s slow off-cutters.
So it will be a contest between Malinga’s toe-crushers and Mustafizur’s variations. There will be supporting cast from both sides. Mustafizur will be aided by Al Amin, Taskin Ahmed and skipper Mashrafe Mortaza.
Malinga will have support from the experienced Nuwan Kulasekara, left-arm spinner Rangana Herath and young Dushmantha Chameera.
Both Mortaza and Malinga expects that their premier batsmen would come good. Shabbir Rahaman and Mithun Ali performed in one match each while the mercurial Mahmuduulah Riyadh came good in their UAE victory.
Sri Lanka only had Dinesh Chandimal scoring a 50 while Tillekaratne Dilshan looked scratchy during his 28-ball 27.
Sri Lanka have Chamara Kapugedara in their ranks and he is considered to be a good T20 player. Sri Lanka did not play Thisara Perera in the last match but considering the conditions and his all-round abilities, Malinga might think of dropping a pacer and including Perera in the line-up to bolster the batting.