Bangladesh-Sri Lanka series decider kicks off Thursday

2nd Test: Bangladesh-Sri Lanka series decider kicks off Thursday

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Dhaka- Bangladesh will take on visiting Sri Lanka at Mirpur in the decider of a two-Test series after a run-feast draw in Chittagong.The 2nd and last match will kick off at 9:30 am(Bangladesh time) at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium on Thursday.Mahmudullah Riyad is continuing his assignment as captain in absent of regular captain Shakib Al Hasan, sidelined for finger injury.Mahmudullah considered the 2nd Test as great chance for series victory after a tough position in Chittagong Test as he said, “This game is a great chance for us to win a Test series. I think, all the players are thinking positively, which will help our outcome.” He was speaking at the pre-match press conference in Mirpur on Wednesday. Bangladesh will gain confidence from the fact that they won their last two Test matches at Mirpur – against England and Australia in October 2016 and August 2017.The Tigers shuffled their pack, leaving out Sunzamul Islam and Rubel Hossain and calling up batsman Sabbir Rahman in the squad. Sabbir has been called up despite scoring just 42 runs in four innings during the recent ODI tri-series.Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal expressed his opinion in differently way ahead of the match saying, “It won’t be like Chittagong. We saw in the ODI tri-series that they were really bad pitches at this ground. It was good for the spinners but not for the batters. This pitch looks similar.””The pitch looks dry. Spinners will definitely come into play. It is challenging for both teams,” the Lankan captain added.Sri Lankans played two Tests at the stadium and won in both occasions, with their most recent of a 248-run victory, seeing them rack up the ground’s highest Test total of 730/6-d, in January 2014. Sri Lanka found Bangladesh at Mirpur for a 107-run win in December 2008.Sri Lankans are still without the injured Angelo Mathews the pace all-rounder is sidelined with a hamstring injury.The Chittagong Test saw 1,533 runs scored, only 24 out of the possible 40 wickets taken and five centuries and six half-centuries scored, as the batsmen from both sides made hay while the sun shone.In Chittagong Test Bangladesh batsman Mominul Haque scored 176 and 105, while Sri Lanka’s Kusal Mendis (196), Dhananjaya de Silva (173) and Roshen Silva (109) for their centuries. It would be easier to mention there are plenty of batsmen, who did not make runs, on both sides feeling in good touch.The 26-year-old Mominul Haque piled on 281 runs in Chittagong, but it wasn’t just the number of runs he scored, but the way he scored them and their context which mattered. If Mominul can perform again in Mirpur he will go a long way to confirming his potential.Mominul went from four Test centuries to six in the space of two innings, becoming the first Bangladesh player to pass three figures in the same Test match. His 180-run partnership with Liton Kumar Das showed a glimpse of the future for the Tigers.
Rangana Herath may hold the key to Sri Lanka’s ability to take 20 wickets in Mirpur. It is difficult to overstate how important the diminutive left-arm spinner is to Sri Lanka. He could be Sri Lanka’s biggest weapon in Mirpur. He finished the first Test with the most five wickets. In subcontinent conditions Herath is a match-winner.Herath sits 13th on the all-time Test wicket-takers list with 411 scalps and is eighth in the ICC Men’s Test Bowling Rankings. The 39-year-old Herath has been a picture of consistency throughout his career.In 19 previous Test meetings since 2001, Sri Lanka won 15 with Bangladesh securing just one win and three draws.Sabbir is likely to appear as an aggressive option replacing Mosaddek Hossain. Sunzamul Islam’s place is still up for grabs, with Abdur Razzak being slightly ahead of Kamrul Islam and Nayeem Hasan, who could still get a chance.Lahiru Kumara, who fielded poorly, in addition to being wayward with the ball in Chittagong, is likely to give way to Dushmantha Chameera – the other quick bowler in the Sri Lanka squad. There may be no other major changes.Bangladesh XI (probable): Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Kumar Das, Mahmudullah Riyad(captain), Sabbir Rahman/ Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Abdur Razzak and Mustafizur Rahman.Sri Lanka XI (probable): Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan and Dushmantha Chameera.UNB news agency

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