Tigers face SL today with point to prove

Samsul Arefin Khan | Published: 00:35, Jan 19,2018

 
 

Bangladesh all-rounder Sakib al Hasan (L) and captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza inspect the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium wicket at Mirpur on Thursday. — New Age photo

Bangladesh will be eager to prove their point when they will face Chandika Hathurusinghe’s Sri Lanka in their second match of the on-going tri-series one-day international tournament in Mirpur today.
The match is scheduled to start at 12:00pm and will be televised live on GTV and Star Sports Select 2.
The match was crucial for Bangladesh in any case given that they had just embarked on a new phase and the presence of Hathurusinghe in the Sri Lankan dog-out added an extra element of motivation.
The former Sri Lankan opener coached the Tigers to a great success in the past three years but left the side when they needed him most after a disastrous tour of South Africa.
Bangladesh began their life without Hathurusinghe in style with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the opening match of the tournament on Monday.
However, their biggest challenge lies against Hathurusinghe’s Sri Lanka, a former world champions who have a rich cricketing heritage irrespective of their recent form.
Hathurusinghe, who was joined by former Bangladesh batting coach Thilan Samaraweera in Sri Lanka team, was expected to put an extra input with his prior knowledge about the Tigers in the game.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza, however, on Thursday played down the Hathurusinghe factor and insisted that they were focusing on giving full attention to the match.
‘To be honest it does not really matter,’ Mashrafee told reporters in his pre-match press conference in Mirpur.
‘At the back of the mind, winning is all that matters. There is nothing else to think apart from winning the match. Ultimately if you think too much, pressure is bound to crawl in. Everyone is thinking of playing against a team rather than thinking about an individual,’ he added.
Despite winning the first match in a comprehensive manner, the lower-order of the Tigers was yet to be tested, which left Mashrafee more concerned than Hathurusinghe.
Sabbir Rahman and Nasir Hossain were expected to retain their position in the batting line-up while off-spinner Mehedi Hasan could join them against a side that boasted several left-handers.
Sri Lanka, who suffered shocking 12-run defeat against Zimbabwe in the first match of Hathurusinghe realm, have their own issues to sort out as they were sweating over the fitness of skipper Angelo Mathews.
Mathews picked up an injury against Zimbabwe and could be sidelined against Bangladesh, said their batting coach Thilan Samaraweera. Dinesh Chandimal could lead the side if Mathews is ruled out finally.

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