About the Match
Sri Lanka handed out a humiliating and shocking defeat to hosts Bangladesh in the last league match of the tri series on Thursday to crash into the finals; Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will lock horns in the title clash that’s scheduled to take place at Mirpur on 27th January. After keeping their hopes alive by defeating Zimbabwe prior to that, Sri Lanka blazed through the qualifications with a superb bowling effort that routed the hosts 82 all-out. Bangladesh suffered a batting collapse after consistently winning all matches till now, and they will try to make amends on Saturday.
The team relied heavily on in-form batsmen Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, who have been getting the big runs throughout the series; however, with both players out in the early overs on single digits, the middle-order collapsed under pressure and they could muster only 82 runs in the end. Mushfiqur Rahim scored 26 runs out of 56 deliveries while Sabbir Rahman managed only 10; others like Mahmudullah and Anamul Haque failed to build partnerships, exposing the weaknesses in their batting line-up.
The bowlers had a tough task at hand, and with no wickets in the 12 overs that the second innings lasted, they lost the match by 10 wickets. Earlier, when they had met the islanders, Iqbal had top-scored with 84 while Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim contributed with 60+ runs each.
Anamul Haque had scored 35 while Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman pitched in with 24 runs each to take the total to a gigantic 320. The bowlers had then squashed the Lanka chase thanks to a superb show by speedsters Rubel Hossain, Mortaza, Rahman and Nasir Hossain while all-rounder spinner Shakib Al Hasan provided 3 wickets. The middle-order will need to pull up its socks to put up a better performance here.
Fast-bowler Suranga Lakmal put up a stupendous 3-21 in 7 overs to stifle the hosts in the last game; Dushamantha Chameera was the most economical with a career best 2-6 in 5 overs and together they contained the Bangladesh top-order. All-rounder pacer Thisara Perera and left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan claimed 2 wickets apiece and they got the opponents all-out for just 82 runs. Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga scored 30+ runs each, and they steered the team to a much-needed victory that’s taken them straight to the finals.
Earlier, when they met Bangladesh, the bowlers had failed to contain the hosts despite a good show by Thisara Perera and Nuwan Pradeep. Spinner Akila Dananjaya also dismissed one opponent and brings variety to the attack along with others like Gunaratne. Chasing 321 in that match proved to be an uphill climb; Chandimal, Perera and Tharanga fought back with 20+ runs each but others failed to impress.
Sri Lanka recently defeated Zimbabwe by 5 wickets after chasing down 199 runs thanks to a good show by K Perera, Mendis, Chandimal and Thisara Perera; the recent victories have pumped up their morale and they could once again cause an upset here to lift the trophy.
Although Sri Lanka has good resources with bat and ball, we feel that Bangladesh could bounce back with powerful all-round show to emerge victorious here on Saturday