In the second match of the Bangladesh Tri-nation Series tournament, Sri Lanka meet Zimbabwe at Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, tomorrow. Bangladesh won the first match of the tournament, comfortably beating Zimbabwe by eight wickets. A similar fate is expected for Zimbabwe against Sri Lanka too. It is not because Sri Lanka have shown any encouraging signs of improvement in the recent past. But the hot and humid conditions and low and slow pitch at Mirpur will take their toll on the Zimbabwean players. Sri Lanka will definitely be the favorites for cricket betting.
Sri Lanka – Preview
Angelo Mathews is back as captain for Sri Lanka. The squad too looks the same that played in the disastrous series against India. Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera and Dinesh Chandimal will be the batting mainstays. The fact is that time is running out for these players to cement their place in the squad. They have been the best batsmen in the Lankan domestic circuit. However, they have been found wanting in the international arena. This tournament is a great, and possibly final, chance to establish themselves in the world stage, as they have to negotiate only the bowling of Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka’s spinners, especially Lakshan Sandakan and Akila Dhanjaya, will relish the conditions. They are likely to spin a web around the opponents, especially against Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe – Preview
Zimbabwe face an improbable task in these conditions. First, their batsmen could struggle against the spinners. Second, they do not seem to have good enough spinners to exploit the conditions here. A lot will depend on how Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza tackle the Lankan spinners. If they are able to score freely, Zimbabwe win half the battle. Even then they do not have a world-class spinner to exploit the conditions.