Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will play the inaugural match of the Asia cup today at Dubai. Though Sri Lankans were dominating the Bangladeshis in the ODI format, they were recently in the poor form and lost an ODI series by 0-5 against Pakistan. Sri Lankans were stronger with pacers Kusal Mendis and skipper Angelo Mathews. In addition, they have experienced players like Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Upul Tharanga, and Niroshan Dickawelo.
The Bangladeshis seem stronger with batsmen like Shakib Al Hasan. Though Hasan is suffering a finger injury, he postponed the surgery to participate in the Asia Cup. The team last played in UAE in 1995. This fact was revealed by one of the players, Tamim Iqbal. This is one of the challenges the team is facing along with the injury woes of the teammates. The team captained by Moshrafe Mortaza are confident about the win though they lost the game against West Indies by 0-1. They made for the finals in Asia Cup twice earlier and are determined to clinch the title.
Coming to Sri Lankan team, Dinesh Chandimal is facing a ban period and Akila Dananjaya likely will not play the first game. On the other hand, Gunathilaka is suffering a sore back and Shaniya Jaya Suriya was called into the team for the first match. Upul Tharanga and Dickawelo are in good form and Kusal Perera might not play the first match to make a place for one of them. Dananjaya is out of the first game due to the birth of his child. However, it would be a tough fight between the two teams since each team should play two league matches only to qualify for the super four.
Both the teams met in the final game of a tri-series in which Sri Lanka made 221 runs and bowled out Bangladesh for 142 runs in January. Bangladesh is looking to rewrite that history.
Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Niroshan Dickawella, Dasun Shenaka, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya De Silva, Amila Aponso, Dilruwan Perera, and Lasith Malinga.
Mashrafe Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mehidy Hasan, Liton Das, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mominul Haque, Mosaddek Hussain, Rubel Hussain, and Mustafizur Rahiman.
Tamim Iqbal commented that “Our ex-head coach (Chandrika Hathurasinghe) was from Sri Lanka and we have played them a lot recently, so we know them inside out. But it depends on the day, whichever team who ticks most boxes will have the chance to win.”
Dhananjaya Desilva said that “My coaches have been saying that I have to bowl a few more overs and bat through the innings. so I need to prepare for that and I am looking forward to it.”
- Tamim Iqbal is 33 runs ahead of Shakib Al Hasan. Iqbal scored 643 runs and Shakib scored 607 runs in the ODIs against Sri Lanka.
- In head to head competitions in Asia Cup, Sri Lankans played 12 matches against Bangladesh and won 11 matches.
- In Asia cup 2014, Bangladesh lost the tournament to Afghanistan by 32 runs.
- Suranga Lakmal and Malinga are most successful bowlers against Bangladesh in Asia cup with 3 wickets each.
- Upul Tharanga stood as the highest scorer in ODIs against Bangladesh with 879 runs.
According to predictions, the climate will be hot and humid and batting track at Dubai will favor the team which bats first. The game begins in Dubai at 5 pm today.