Sri Lanka, Bangladesh to clash for final berth

The two teams lock horns in a virtual semifinal at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.

Sri Lanka’s coach Chandika Hathurusingha (left) and Dhananjaya de Silva look on during a practice session at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Thursday.   -  AFP

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh square off in a virtual semifinal in the Twenty20 tri-series here on Friday.

The winner plays India in the final on March 18.

Both teams have two points with a victory each in the tri-series so far. Sri Lanka surprised India in the tournament opener while Bangladesh convincingly chased down a target of 215 set by the host last week.

Owing to a better net run-rate, Sri Lanka will take its spot in the final in case the match is washed out.

Sri Lanka’s recent record against Bangladesh, prior to the defeat last week, has been impressive. It has beaten Bangladesh in an away Test and Twenty20 series besides the final of a One-Day International tri-series also involving Zimbabwe.

Thisara Perera to captain Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka will be missing the services of its regular skipper Dinesh Chandimal; Chandimal was suspended for two Twenty20 Internationals after being found guilty of a serious over-rate offence in the match against Bangladesh on March 11. Thisara Perera will continue as skipper in Chandimal’s absence.

The home side will rely on the the batting efforts of Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera. Bangladesh, on the other hand, will be aiming for more consistency from its top-order which has been good in one game and disappointing in the couple of other matches involving India.

Mushfiqur Rahim will look to continue from where he left off against India while Shakib Al Hasan’s surprise return will give a much-needed confidence boost to Bangladesh ahead of its do-or-die game.

Teams (from)
  • Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera (c), Suranga Lakmal, Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya De Silva.
  • Bangladesh: Mahmudullah (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Liton Das.
  • Match starts at 7 pm.