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Resurgent Sri Lanka aim to prolong Bangladesh misery in Nidahas Trophy T20

Sri Lanka defeated Indian cricket team in the first match of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20 tri-series. On the other hand, Bangladesh lost to India in their last match

cricket Updated: Mar 09, 2018 18:52 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Nidahas Trophy T20,Sri Lankan cricket team,Bangladesh cricket team
Sri Lankan cricketer Upul Tharanga walks with his equipment during a practice session at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.(AFP)

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are experiencing contrasting fortunes. Dinesh Chandimal’s side recently beat Bangladesh in the tri-series, Tests and T20s away, and halted a seven-game losing streak against India by winning the first match of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20 tri-series.

Bangladesh, on the other hand, have lost 10 out of 11 T20I games and looked lacklustre in their loss against India on Thursday. With injuries to key players, including all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, before the start of the tournament, Mahmudullah’s side face an uphill task as they look to snap their losing streak as they take on the hosts on Saturday.

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Playing smart cricket

Sri Lanka’s five-wicket win over India in the opening game of the Nidahas Trophy had glimpses of their old-style aggression, led by Kusal Perera’s 37-ball 66. Although the rest of the batting slipped up, Perera’s knock had done enough to ensure the win.

Sri Lanka fast bowling coach Rumesh Ratnayake said the team had to adjust smartly if they are to sustain the winning momentum. “It’s about playing smart -- according to the situation -- if there needs to be change in the strike and going to the other side that’s what we have to do,” Ratnayake said.

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In addition to that, Sri Lanka would be hoping there is more contribution from the bowlers as well as the batsmen. Dushmantha Chameera impressed but was taken apart in the death overs while the rest of the bowlers failed to contain the runs.

Problems for Bangladesh

In the game against India, the Bangladesh innings had plenty of dot balls and their inability to rotate strike in the middle overs was a huge factor in their loss.

Among their batsmen, Soumya Sarkar’s career strike rate of 128 is the highest while the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah have a strike-rate in the 116 to 120 range, too low for a top order batsman. The inability of the top three to post big scores has been the biggest factor behind Bangladesh’s recent woeful run.

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The failure of the batsmen took the sheen off decent bowling performances by pacers Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain. Mahmudullah pointed out in the post-match press conference after the India game that the team did not play as a combined unit.

Bangladesh’s sole Twenty20 win in 2017 came at the R Premadasa stadium against Sri Lanka. They will be hoping that in 2018, the ground can help them stay alive in the tournament.

First Published: Mar 09, 2018 18:51 IST