The Sri Lankans might feel slightly aggrieved that the recent one day series between these two sides was drawn and the home team will be determined to win this one off T20 as a result. The hosts played the better cricket but Bangladesh will argue that they battled hard to secure that draw while others will say that Mushfiqur Rahim’s men were greatly assisted by the weather.
Sri Lanka’s new T20 captain Dinesh Chandimal will be under pressure in his first match as skipper to ensure the hosts beat Bangladesh or risk losing their number-one ranking in the ICC T20I championship table, when the two sides meet in the one-off T20 match in Pallekele on Sunday. Favourites Sri Lanka are ahead of ninth-ranked Bangladesh by 47 ratings points. The rankings are weighted to reflect this difference between the two sides, and failure to win the match will result in Sri Lanka losing five ratings points to slip one point behind second-ranked West Indies.
If Chadimal’s men win, then they will gain one rating point to extend the lead over West Indies to six ratings points, while Bangladesh will lose two ratings points, which will put them on par with Ireland (82 ratings points). Bangladesh will however remain ahead of the associate side Ireland when the ratings are calculated beyond the decimal points.
Sri Lanka have picked an inexperienced squad for the T20 against Bangladesh, and will miss the services of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara. As many as five uncapped players have been selected by the new selection panel headed by Sanath Jayasuriya. The solitary T20 fixture in Bangladesh’s 2013 tour of Sri Lanka takes place on March 31 in Pallekele. With some of the top names missing, this could be an intriguing contest and if you’re looking at the result, it all leads up to the toss.
Match Timings: Mar 31, 2013 (19:00 local | 13:30 GMT | 19:00 IST)
Sri Lanka (probable) 1. Kusal Perera, 2. Dilshan Munaweera, 3. Lahiru Thirimanne, 4. Dinesh Chandimal (capt & wk), 5. Angelo Perera/Kithuruwan VIthanage, 6. Angelo Mathews, 7. Jeevan Mendis, 8. Thisara Perera, 9. Shaminda Eranga/ Chaturanga de Silva/ Ishan Jayaratne, 10. Sachithra Senanayake, 11. Lasith Malinga.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Mohammad Ashraful, 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Jahurul Islam, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Nasir Hossain, 7 Mominul Haque, 8 Ziaur Rahman, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Rubel Hossain/Shahadat Hossain.