Sri Lanka and Bangladesh lock horns for one last time on this tour, in the second T20 International (T20I) at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. Sri Lanka took a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, courtesy of a comfortable 6-wicket win in the first T20I at the same venue. Kusal Perera passed a late fitness test and smashed 77 off just 53 deliveries to help Sri Lanka chase down 156. This will be Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza’s final match in T20Is, as he made the announcement during the toss for the first T20I. Bangladesh will now want to end Mortaza’s tenure on a high, and end their Sri Lankan sojourn with yet another drawn series by winning the final game. Full Cricket Scorecard: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh 2nd T20I at Colombo
The play got delayed on Tuesday due to rains and it might play a part once again in this game as well. However, no overs were lost due to the interruption. It was a tad surprising to see Mortaza deciding to bat first, looking at the overcast conditions. It eventually did not turn out to be a good decision as his side managed to put on just 155 runs on the board, thanks to a gutsy partnership between Mosaddek Hossain and Mahmudullah in the end. However, Bangladesh would perhaps look to bowl first, if they win the toss this time too.
Lasith Malinga started off with a wicket on the second ball of the match. He turned out to be bit expensive, but he got the big wickets of Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah. Vikum Sanjaya, Seekkuge Prasanna and Asela Gunaratne did a fine job with the ball, giving away just 67 runs between them in their 12 overs, also getting 3 wickets along the way. Sri Lanka, in their chase, never looked in any sort of trouble throughout their innings. The opening partnership of 65 in 6.5 overs between Perera and skipper Upul Tharanga laid the platform for the hosts. Perera continued in his own attacking fashion and did not let the pressure mount.
Bangladesh handed out T20I debut to fast bowling all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin. He did a decent job with the ball, but if Bangladesh are to go in for an experienced player, they have Subashis Roy on the bench. Roy is yet to make his T20I debut, but has played 20 T20s and has picked up 23 wickets in them. He could be an ideal replacement. Bangladesh are not expected to mess with the rest of their batting line-up, unless they want to squeeze in Imrul Kayes into the playing XI.
Sri Lanka do not need to make any change in their XI as well. They might however be tempted to go in with another spinner in this match, considering the slow nature of the wickets. Lakshan Sandakan gives them that option, but Sri Lanka might have to drop either of Chamara Kapugedara or Milinda Siriwardana. Thisara Perera, who is in the squad as a fast bowling all-rounder, did not bowl a single delivery in the first game. He scored a couple of fifties in the One-Day International (ODI) series, but faced just one delivery in the first game, which he whacked into the fence. Gunaratne completed his quota of overs in place of Perera, which turned out to be the right decision as Gunaratne’s slow dibbly-dobbly deliveries ensured he was difficult to be scored off.
With the Test and ODI series ending in a 1-1 draw, the T20I series too could go in the same direction. Regardless of what happens, this will be one last chance for Mortaza as skipper in the shortest format – a player, who has led Bangladesh to nine T20I wins so far. Can he end his T20I career with a 10th win? That would certainly be a good send-off for him.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (c), Dilshan Munaweera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera (wk), Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dasun Shanaka, Vikum Sanjaya, Milinda Siriwardana, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkuge Prasanna, Chamara Kapugedara, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Shehan Jayasuriya, Sandun Weerakkody (wk) (On stand-by)
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy, Sanjamul Islam, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mehedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin
TIME: 19.00 Local | 13.30 GMT | 19.00 IST