Tigers relish chance in T20

March 31, 2013

Bangladesh will look to finish their Sri Lanka tour on a high when they face a new-look home side in the one-off Twenty20 International in Pallekele today.
For the first time in their history they will play a match against Sri Lanka without carrying the tag of underdogs despite them still having a very poor record in the country.
Sri Lanka are also ranked the number one side in the Twenty20 format and the current runners-up of the latest edition of the World Twenty20. But all these have become irrelevant after they chose to field an inexperienced side in the match under a new captain.
The home side picked six uncapped players in their 16-man squad including the son of a minister who scored just two fifties in 28 innings since he began playing club cricket two years ago.
Bangladesh are also without some key players, but their confidence level is high at least, especially after the win in the last one-day international here at the same ground on Thursday.
The three-wicket win, which helped them level the three-match one-day international series 1-1, also came in T20 style after an intervention by rain.
The Tigers had to score 105 runs from 80 balls after the rain break and they did it in style reaching the target with six balls to spare.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim believes this has given them some much-needed momentum ahead of the Twenty20 game, which does have any clear favourites.
‘In the last game we had a Twenty20-type run chase,’ Mushfiq said in his pre-match press conference. ‘So you can say we had some practice, which I see as a positive.
‘Though no side are favourites in Twenty20 cricket, we would like to carry over the momentum for the rest of the tour.’
Mushfiq relishes a chance as Sri Lanka will be without Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan, who he said, have made them suffer throughout the series.
Sangakkara scored three centuries in the Test series and did reasonably well in the one-day series. Dilshan also had a century to his name in the two Test matches and carried the form in the one-dayers to add two more centuries.
‘They are without Sangakkara and Dilshan, who made us suffer throughout the tour. So they have brought a huge change to the team,’ said Mushfiq.
‘So it is a big opportunity for us to be competitive against them and push for a win. We want to grab this chance with both hands, because we also don’t have a good record in Twenty20s. We will have to get our basics right, result will take care of itself,’ added Mushfiq.
Mushfiq, however, did not take the win for granted and has full respect for Sri Lanka’s youth brigade, some of whom he said are known to him thanks to his stint in the Sri Lanka Premier League.
‘They have a quite a young side, but they’re playing at home. They definitely have the potential to do well,’ he said.
‘I know some of the new players pretty well from the SLPL last year. I shared my thoughts with my team-mates. There are also a few players who played in the warm-up matches so we know about them quite a bit.
‘Bowling in the Powerplay and at the death is very important for us. We have to do well in these two periods. The bowlers are confident after not having a great tour,’ he insisted.

-With New Age input

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