Nidahas Trophy: SL aims to extend domination over Bangladesh

Sri Lanka will be high on confidence, going into its second game, after it surprised India in the Nidahas Trophy opener.

Sri Lanka’s recent record against Bangladesh is impressive, having beaten it in the away Test and T20I series, besides the final of the tri-series, which also included Zimbabwe.   -  AFP

Host Sri Lanka will aim to continue its recent domination against a beleaguered Bangladesh when the two teams meet in the Nidahas Twenty20 Trophy here on Saturday.

Sri Lanka will be high on confidence, going into its second game, after it surprised India in the tournament opener. Its recent record against Bangladesh is impressive, having beaten it in the away Test and T20I series, besides the final of the tri-series, which also included Zimbabwe.

The way Sri Lanka played against India was even more impressive, comfortably chasing a stiff 175-run target, courtesy a Kusal Perera special.

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On the bowling front, pacer Dushmantha Chameera stood out, while the Indians struggled to read the wrong-un of leggie Jeevan Mendis.

The openers, Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka, began well, but failed to make a substantial contribution, something they will look to change on Saturday.

After the India win, captain Dinesh Chandimal said that the players are feeling good about their game and also gave credit to coach Chandika Hathurusingha, who was earlier with Bangladesh.

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“This is all about transferring confidence from the Bangladesh series. The management has done a wonderful job at training sessions. Chandika Hathurusingha has been amazing. This result shows how good we are as a team,” Chandimal had said.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, is under the pump after a string of losses. The batsmen have not been able to rotate the strike enough in the middle overs, stopping them from putting up competitive scores. The absence of star player and captain Shakib Al Hasan is bound to hurt them.

“We should have scored a lot more runs, probably 30 more runs. They (India) executed their plans very well, but we should have found ways to make more runs. We need to rotate the strike more often. The dot balls created a lot of pressure. I think we are just a win away from getting a boost. We’re still searching for it and I think we’ll get it,” said captain Mahmudullah after the six-wicket loss to India on Thursday.

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India chased down 140 easily with Bangladesh spinners not posing any threat to India by bowling flat more often than not. They will have to come up with a fresh strategy against the Lankans.

The pacers bowled alright and Rubel Hossain stood out with two wickets. It is also a must-win game for Bangladesh as another loss will make it very difficult for it to make the final on March 18.

Teams (from):

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Suranga Lakmal, Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya De Silva.

Bangladesh: Mahmudullah (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Liton Das.

Match start: 7 pm IST.

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