Bangladesh gear up for the final encounter with Sri Lanka, as the two teams play the final Twenty20 International (T20I) at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on Thursday. Sri Lanka are ahead in the two-match series with a comfortable victory in the first T20I and the onus will now be upon Bangladesh to put in their hundred per cent to win the match and hand to save the series. The match will be an emotional one for Bangladesh as their skipper Mashrafe Mortaza will play his last T20I with the match. As the teams prepare for the match, here are the likely XIs for both the sides. Full Cricket Scorecard: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh 2nd T20I at Colombo
Top-order: Tamim Iqbal is the backbone of the Bangladesh top-order. Though he was bowled by a perfect Lasith Malinga yorker in the previous match for a duck, he will be relied upon for Bangladesh’s total. Soumya Sarkar, another southpaw, accompanies him for opening Bangladesh’s innings. Sarkar, talented to play under any circumstances, needs to be more calm-headed while at the crease as the two need to spend some time there and provide Bangladesh a steady-start. Following the two, comes out Sabbir Rahman, Bangladesh’s latest favourite for the No. 3 position. Sabbir has been scoring consistently of late and will have to continue that.
With Kusal Perera scoring a brilliant 53-ball 77 in the previous match, he will undoubtedly be seen opening the innings for Sri Lanka once again on Thursday. At the other end will be Upul Tharanga, the skipper himself. All eyes will be at these two for a solid start to Sri Lanka’s innings. Thranga is unlikely to change the winning combination and Dilshan Munaweera might get another chance to play at No. 3. However, he will have to score good runs, given the importance of the position.
Middle-order: Bangladesh’s middle-order is full of experienced and in-form names. Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan are the two pillars of the Bangladesh middle-order. However, when they failed in the last game, Mahmudullah took charge along with young Mosaddek Hossain, which is a great sign. All four players will have to fire for Bangladesh to put up a huge score. Mortaza himself is a hard-hitter and can contribute down the order.
Sri Lanka’s new-found hero Asela Gunaratne graces the middle-order. At No. 4, a lot of responsibility will be on him to maintain the flow of runs and trigger at the right moment to increase the runrate. He will find support from the likes of Thisara Perera and Milinda Siriwardene. Seekkuge Prasanna is one bowler who can play big knocks when needed. Malinga is also capable of hitting hard.
Bowlers: Mashrafe Mortaza will lead Bangladesh’s pace-attack in the T20Is for one last time. He has been consistent with wickets. With him, there will be the likes of Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed to complete the attack. Shakib will be their leading spinner while Mehedi Hasan can be brought in for the crucial fixture. Mehedi also counts as a handy lower-order batsman. Mahmudullah and Mosaddek can also bowl occasional overs.
Lasith Malinga was the game-changer for Sri Lanka with his early scalps and will open the bowling. With him, to strengthen the attack is young Vikum Sanjaya who has impressed with his economical and effective spells so far. Nuwan Kulasekara, if picked, needs to be more disciplined. Gunaratne is another option who can confuse the batsmen with change in pace and has been economical. For spin, Sri Lanka will depend upon veteran Seekkuge Prasanna.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera (wk), Upul Tharanga (c), Dilshan Munaweera, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkugge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Chamara Kapugedara, Milinda Siriwardana, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Vikum Sanjaya