Sports, Cricket

Tigers eye first ever win in T20 series against Sri Lanka

Published : 08 Mar 2024 09:31 PM

Bangladesh will be looking to seal their first ever T20 series against Sri Lanka when they take on the Island nation in the third and final match at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium tomorrow (Saturday).

The match starts at 3.30 PM and will be aired live on T-sports and Gazi Television.

The series is locked at 1-1 at this moment. Sri Lanka edged Bangladesh past by three wickets following a thrilling contest in the first match while the hosts took a sweet revenge in the second game, thrashing the visitors by eights in comprehensive fashion.

This is the first time that the two nations are playing a three-match bilateral T20 series. In the past, they had faced off in three bilateral series, all of which Sri Lanka won. In 2013, when Sri Lanka hosted Bangladesh, they played a single match T20 series which the hosts won by 17 runs.

Bangladesh later hosted Sri Lanka for two-match T20 series in 2014 and the visitors won all those two matches by two runs and three wickets respectively.

Bangladesh again hosted Sri Lanka in 2018 for two-match T20 series. Sri Lanka beat the hosts by six wickets and 75 runs respectively to sweep the series.

With Sri Lanka winning the cliffhanger to start the series, things looked ominous for Bangladesh. But the Tigers which haven't lost a T20 series since 2022 came back strongly in the second game, leaving the third game a decider one. By doing so, they had also won their first T20 against Sri Lanka in a bilateral series between the two sides.

Overall Bangladesh won five and lost 10 in the 15 matches between the two sides in this format.

While Bangladesh won a series against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), World Champions England, Afghanistan and Ireland after 2022, they held New Zealand for a draw in away series to prove that they are no longer a vulnerable side in this format.

With T20 World Cup in the United States of America(USA) and West Indies approaching fast, a series victory against the Lankans will be a huge booster for them.

After losing the first match, Bangladesh played a near perfect game in the second game with Captain Najmul Hossain Shanto leading from the front. Shanto hammered a 38 ball-53 not out to sail the side home and in doing so, he hit back to form, which was a concern for Bangladesh after a horribly poor Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) outing.

The Bangladesh bowlers also bowled well to restrict Sri Lanka in a moderate total. In fact, according to Shanto, the bowlers did a praiseworthy job to help them get a favourable result in the match.

He specially was all praise for legspinner Rishad Hossain who shone in impeccably despite limited game time in domestic circuit. 

"He [Rishad] has certainly improved and his length is good and he can consistently bowl in one area and is also working on his variations. The way he is bowling, if he can keep that up, he can bowl even better in the coming days," Shanto said.

According to Shanto, the bowlers' performance will be key again in the deciding game.

Bangladesh hardly have any chance to tinker with their squad. In the last two matches, they fielded same squad and things looked likely that they will retain that squad again.

Sri Lanka brought up a change in the second game, brining in pacer Dilshan Madushanka, replacing spinner Akila Dananjaya. They are likely to bring up a change in the third game too.

Squad Bangladesh  

Najmul Hossain Shanto (Captain), Liton Das, Anamul Haque Bijoy, 

Naim Sheikh, Towhid Hridoy, Soumya Sarkar, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Taijul Islam, Rishad Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib and Jakir Ali Anik.

 Sri Lanka: Wanindu Hasaranga (capt for last game), Charith Asalanka (capt for 

first two games), Kusal Mendis, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Angelo Mathews, Dasun 

Shanaka, Maheesh Theekshana, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilshan 

Madushanka, Nuwan Thushara, Matheesha Pathirana, Akila Dananjaya, Binura 

Fernando, Kamindu Mendis, Avishka Fernando and Jeffrey Vandersay.