The battle to grab the series for Lanka and Bangla Tigers
Sri Lanka to win
The 1st Test Match of the 2-Test Series ended in a tame draw. It was a bad exhibition for Test cricket and there was criticism for the wicket from all the quarters. There was hardly anything for the bowlers on the surface as batsmen on both the sides had a walk in the park during the game. As the two sides battle it out at the same venue we hope to see a much better surface that creates the chances of a result.
Bangladesh has managed to defeat Sri Lanka only once before in a Test Match played in the island nation and this is something that would be in their minds. They would look up to their experienced players to do well in this game. The Sri Lankans on the other hand are passing through one of the most crucial phases in their cricketing journey and the side would hope to come up with a special performance here as this would do a world of good to their confidence.
Dimuth Karunaratne wouldn’t mind the end result as there was nothing the side could have done to win the game after Bangladesh has put up a huge score in the 1st innings. They did well exploring the best possible option of tiring out their opponents on the field. Karunaratne would have happy with the confidence his batsmen gained from the last game and want them to put up a similar show here. Bowlers will have work on a better game plan for the side to win.
Karunaratne led from the front with a career best 244 in the last game and was well supported by Lahiru Thirimanne opening the batting. Oshada Fernando and Angelo Mathews missed out on a placid wicket in the last game and better show would be expected from them here. Dhananjaya des Silva would be confident after his brilliant hundred in the last game and the side would also be looking for runs from Pathum Nissanka and Niroshan Dickwella.
Their bowlers faced carnage less due to their skills and more so because of the track and the side would need a good start with the new ball from Suranga Lakmal and Vishwa Fernando in this game. Fernando impressed on the last game and shall have an important role here. Lahiru Kumara, Dhananjaya de Silva and Hasaranga must make good use of the conditions given the strength Bangladesh has in their batting.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Wanindu Hasaranga, Suranga Lakmal, Vishwa Fernando, Lahiru Kumara
Niroshan Dickwella, Angelo Mathews, Dimuth Karunaratne, Lahiru Thirimanne, Oshada Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Vishwa Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Ramesh Mendis, Suranga Lakmal
Mominul Haque could blame it on the poor pitch but he would be slightly disappointed with the way his bowlers went about their business in the last game. They bowled when the conditions were best for bowling and yet the side failed to trouble the Sri Lankans. The skipper would like to put this loss behind and focus on winning the next game.
Saif Hassan failed in both the games but the side would be happy with the performance of Tamim Iqbal who played splendidly and the pair would need to put up a good show here. In the middle order Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mominul Haque would be confident after their brilliant hundreds in the last game. With Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das and Mehidy Hasan to follow their batting line-up would test the opponents.
It is with the ball that the side would need to put up a better show in the next game. Taskin Ahmed did well but the side would be expecting a better show from Abu Jayed here. Taijul Islam and Mehidy Hasan would be expected to turn the ball sharply on this surface and create chances. Ebadot Hossain has to support the main bowlers well in this game.
Mominul Haque (c), Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das (wk), Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed, Ebadot Hossain
Tamim Iqbal, Shoriful Islam, Liton Das, Mominul Haque, Taijul Islam, Mehidy Hasan, Abu Jayed, Taskin Ahmed, Mushfiqur Rahim, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||21||0 mm.||0.97 k/h||From: SSW||26%|
|03h||23||0 mm.||0.92 k/h||From: W||35%|
|06h||28||0 mm.||1.95 k/h||From: WNW||49%|
|09h||27||0.36 mm.||1.38 k/h||From: NW||100%|
|12h||25||1.01 mm.||1.33 k/h||From: W||100%|
|15h||23||0 mm.||1.18 k/h||From: SSW||83%|
|18h||22||0 mm.||0.97 k/h||From: SSW||73%|
|21h||22||0 mm.||0.83 k/h||From: SW||88%|
There is forecast for rains from Day 2 onward at Pallekele and we would be lucky to see a complete game without any interruptions. There would be little on the surface for the fast bowlers but they would be looking to use the cloud cover well. The side that bats first in the game would be aiming to do well on Day 1 which is expected to be the best day for batting.
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium has seen big scores being put up as the track has been historically flat. Batsmen have always enjoyed their time on this surface where there is little for the bowlers. It is from Day 3 onward that spinners tend to dominate on this surface but overall it is a batsmen’s paradise.
The pitch is expected to be flat one as we had seen in the last game. Batting would be easiest on the first two days of the game and from Day 3 onward the spinners would come into play. The side that wins the toss here would have little hesitation in batting first on this surface.
If the kind of track we saw in the first game is anything to go by we might be looking for another tame draw here. Bangladesh has problems with their bowling attack as they failed to make use of the conditions in the last game. Both sides have their batsmen in good form at the moment and we might most likely see a draw here. Sri Lanka with their slightly better bowling attack would start favorites here.
Sri Lanka to win