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Nidahas Trophy: 3rd T20I Preview – Easy win for Sri Lanka v Bangladesh?



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

– A team (Sri Lanka) that won their first game convincingly, against a team (Bangladesh) the lost their first game convincingly.

– A team (Sri Lanka) that recently smashed the other (Bangladesh) 2-0 in a recent T20I series.

– A team (Sri Lanka) that poached the other team’s (Bangladesh) coach, and is enjoying some success straight away.

Sri Lanka should beat Bangladesh easily, right?

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However, the beauty of T20 cricket is that anything can happen on the day. Bangladesh,, without Shakib Al Hasan, look to be really struggling at the moment, and their struggles were on show in a very poor performance against India. The concerning aspect for the Tigers is that India didn’t even get out of second gear throughout the game, and still won easily. They now come up against a Sri Lanka side that was impressive against India, so the key questions are – do Bangladesh stand any chance? What is their best route to victory?

A win for Sri Lanka would give them one foot in the final. The Lions had a wretched 2017, but have started 2018 promisingly, even though they haven’t played any top opposition yet. However, India still possessed some very good players in their side, and Sri Lanka put in a professional performance to nail their chase of 175. Chandika Hathurusinga knows Bangladesh inside and out, and if Sri Lanka put in a performance like they did versus India, it would surely be enough vs Bangladesh.

Key to a Sri Lanka win

Fast start by the top order.

This was key to Sri Lanka’s success on their Bangladesh tour, as well as their first game against India. A good start from the top order gives the middle order freedom to express themselves, and for Sri Lanka fans, they would have taken heart by how well the batting line up performed in a tricky chase first up.

Kusal Perera was dynamic with his 66, and Thisara Perera built on his good showing against Bangladesh with a strong 22 off 10 balls to see the Lions home against India. I’m really looking forward to see how Kusal Mendis goes against a team he has enjoyed playing against in recent times. A fast start by Dinushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera might be too much for Bangladesh to come back from.

Kusal Perera was excellent against India

Key to a Bangladesh win

In my preview of the India v Bangladesh game, I spoke about the onus being on the bowlers to perform. However, their batting was so awful that it was nearly impossible to watch, especially with the game kicking off at 12:30am here in Sydney. 
After all these years, Bangladesh still seem to struggle with the notion that T20 cricket is NOT ONLY about boundaries. For Bangladesh to improve in T20 cricket, their strike rotation has to be top of the agenda, as this was a major concern against India. In their innings of 139/8, they chewed up 68 dot balls, meaning they only scored off 52 balls. So basically, Bangladesh gave themselves 8.4 overs to put up some sort of score. Horrible stuff.
Against Sri Lanka, this has to change if they are to have a chance of winning. They need to cut out the dot balls, and keep Dinesh Chandimal guessing as to what field placings he should employ. It’s easy to say that Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah are key to Bangladesh’s chances, but in reality, all batsmen have to contribute in some way or another, and that starts with effectively rotating the strike.
Tamim Iqbal needs to perform for Bangladesh at the top

Predicted teams

For Sri Lanka, why change? They are playing with more confidence at the moment, and should stick with the same team. There is talk, however, of Suranga Lakmal being left out for Nuwan Pradeep. I think Lakmal will play, though.
Sri Lanka XI: 1. Danushka Gunathilaka, 2. Kusal Mendis, 3. Kusal Perera, 4. Dinesh Chandimal (c & wk), 5. Upul Tharanga, 6. Dasun Shanaka, 7. Thisara Perera, 8. Jeevan Mendis, 9. Akila Dananjaya, 10. Dushmantha Chameera, 11. Nuwan Pradeep
Bangladesh’s bowling held up pretty well against India, but just didn’t have enough runs to defend. The onus will be on the batsmen to put up some sort of fight in this match, to pretty much keep their hopes alive of reaching the final. I would not be surprised if a bowler is left out to cater for an extra batsman, even though their attack did OK against India.
Bangladesh XI: 1. Tamim Iqbal, 2. Soumya Sarkar, 3. Liton Das, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5. Mahmudullah, 6. Sabbir Rahman, 7. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8. Mustafizur Rahman, 9. Rubel Hossain, 10. Taskin Ahmed, 11. Nazmul Islam

Stats & Facts:

  • Since January 23, Bangladesh have lost two ODIs, a Test, and three T20Is. They have recorded no wins in this time. 
  • Soumya Sarkar, Bangladesh’s leading T20I run scorer in 2017, has scored 40+ three times in his last five innings.
  • Sri Lanka will be looking to take advantage of Bangladesh’s inability to rotate the strike. Reminder: Bangladesh played out 11.2 overs of dot balls v India.
  • Sri Lanka have won their last three T20Is, after losing their previous eight.
  • Kusal Mendis’ 66 v India was his eighth fifty in T20Is, and equaled Kumar Sangakkara’s record of most fifties for Sri Lanka in T20Is without a hundred (eight).


Not much is expected of Bangladesh at the moment, which is often when they can be at their most dangerous, However, with the pitches getting lower and slower as the tournament progresses, I again expect Bangladesh to struggle to make an impact with the bat, especially without Shakib Al Hasan. The variety in Sri Lanka’s attack, as well as knowledge of the Bangladesh team thanks to Chandika Hathurusinga, means that Sri Lanka are likely to be too strong.
Kusal Mendis was superb against Bangladesh in their recent series, and I expect him to be man of the match in a comfortable Sri Lankan victory.
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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