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Tigers eye winning start against Sri Lanka

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 24 October, 2021 12:00 AM
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Tigers eye winning start against Sri Lanka
Bangladesh players and officials are seen during a training session at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah, UAE on Saturday, ahead of their ICC T20 World Cup Super 12 match against Sri Lanka scheduled today. – BCB PHOTO

Bangladesh will be focusing on improving their performances and making a winning start against Sri Lanka in their first Super 12 match of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah, UAE today.

The match is scheduled to start at 04:00pm and will be telecast live on T Sports.

Despite having a disappointing start in the qualifying round against Scotland, the Tigers bounced back strongly and successfully qualified for the main stage of the tournament after earning back to back victories against Oman and Papua New Guinea respectively.

However, Bangladesh’s finishing the qualifying stage as group runners-up forced them to play in Group 1 of Super 12 where they will face stronger opponents in the likes of Sri Lanka, England, West Indies, South Africa and Australia.

Bangladesh, who have some good recent memories against the neighbouring nation in the limited-over format while also winning the last two T20Is against them, will be hoping to repeat the same form and head coach Russell Domingo feels that he has got a well-balanced side to beat the islanders.

“All we can focus is on what we think about our performances, how we evaluate our performances, the areas we feel we need to improve on. That remains our main focus,” Domingo said in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

“Firstly, I think there’s always room for improvement in every department. We know with the bat we haven’t quite clicked at 100 percent yet. We know there’s a lot of improvement that can take place there, at the start, in the middle and at the death roll innings.

“We played against Sri Lanka but over the last couple of months. We’ve had some good contests against them. I know it’s a different format but we played well against them in the 50-over series. We had a competitive test series against them.

“I think we’ve got a well-balanced side. We’ve got some seriously skillful bowlers and some dangerous batters. We have a world-class order under Shakib.

“Obviously these types of conditions can suit us. Sharjah, I suppose, is a little bit more similar to what wickets in Dhaka are like. Hopefully, that can assist us in tomorrow’s game,” he added.

Domingo, meanwhile, said that he was relatively happier with the match timings of Bangladesh in the Super 12 as all their matches will start at noon which he believed would take the dew factor out of the equation.

“I think the scheduling, the way it’s worked, the 02:00pm (local time) start suits us big time. It takes dew out of the equation. I know a lot of other teams are very focused on the dew. With us playing all our games at 02:00pm is not in the equation for us. I think our spinners will come very much into the competition,” he said.

Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka, on the other hand, felt that his side would have a slightly better chance against Bangladesh considering their recent performances.

Sri Lanka won all their three qualifying round matches to book their place in the Super 12 stage and they will be eyeing to carry their form in the main stage of the tournament.

“They are sitting very good at the moment because after winning those qualifiers, they are on a winning momentum. It’s good for them, but still, we’ve got a better side, I think. We have a slightly better chance,” he said, adding that they are yet to decide about off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana, who sustained a side strain during their last game against Netherlands.

Theekshana was the pick of the bowlers for Sri Lanka in the qualifying stage with claiming eight wickets in three matches.