Asia Cup 2018 Match 1: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, Preview and Predicted Playing XI
Asian Cricket Council's premier championship Asia Cup returns for its fourteenth edition and will commence on Friday, September 15 when Bangladesh will take on Sri Lanka in the first fixture of Asia Cup 2018 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Both teams have played 42 ODI's against each other with the Islanders comprehensively leading the scoreline 36-6.
In their most recent clash in January 2018, Sri Lanka got the better of Bangladesh to win Tri-series final at Dhaka. After electing to bat first, Sri Lanka scored 221 and then bowled Bangladesh out for just 142 in the 42nd over to secure a 79-run win.
Bangladesh are coming into this tournament on the back of a 2-1 ODI series win against the host West Indies and will be pleased with their recent ODI performances. After winning the opening match of that series by 48 runs, Bangladesh faced a three-run defeat in the second match and then won the third and deciding game by 18 runs.
Batting: Tamim Iqbal is Bangladesh leading run-getter in ODIs with 6305 runs. He was in superb form in the recently concluded Windies ODI series as he ended the series with 287 runs comprising respective scores of 130*, 54 and 103 in three matches and is expected to begin Asia Cup campaign with same enthusiasm.
While Mushfiqur Rahim has also been among the runs in Windies with 111 runs in three ODI's and is considered teams most consistent run scorer. Except for these two, the team will also bank on the likes of Mahmudullah, Shakib and Liton Das to score some runs in the middle.
Bowling: Shakib Al Hasan is not only one of Bangladesh's best batsmen but also one of their best bowlers with 237 ODI wickets. He together with skipper Mashrafe Mortaza will be the key figures in Bangladeshi lineup.
Mashrafe Mortaza has taken the most 245 ODI wickets for his side and also finished as the highest wicket-taker against the Windies with seven wickets including a four-wicket haul in the opening encounter.
Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan proved their worth in Asian conditions in the past and have ability fox the batsmen with their variations.
Expected Playing XI: Mashrafe Mortaza (C), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain and Mehidy Hasan.
The Islanders suffered a major blow ahead of the tournament as Dinesh Chandimal has been ruled out of Asia Cup 2018 due to a finger injury while Akila Dananjaya made himself unavailable for group fixtures due to personal reasons.
Sri Lanka are coming off a 3-2 series defeat against South Africa. But they will take confidence from their fabulous record against the Tigers, which gives them an edge over them.
Batting: Upul Tharanga has scored the most runs for the team in ODIs from this current squad and is leading the chart with 6873 runs. While Kusal Perera and skipper Angelo Mathews were both amongst the leading run-getters in the last series against South Africa with the latter topping the runs charts with 235 runs followed by former with 179 runs. These three along with Nirikshan Dickwella will have the responsibility to get the team towards the big total.
Bowling: Dilruwan Perera has done a decent job for Sri Lanka in ODI's and was the pick of the lot against Africa with 16 wickets in the series. The off-spinner is expected to cause problems for Bangladesh on this surface that seems conducive to spin bowling.
While Suranga Lakmal, Dhananjaya de Silva and Thisara Perera will be their other key options and the skipper will need them to crack some scalps upfront.
Expected Playing XI : Angelo Mathews (C), Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Dilruwan Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis.