Sri Lanka won the first T20I against Bangladesh © AFP
Sri Lanka won the first T20I against Bangladesh © AFP

Bangladesh are all set for the final encounter with Sri Lanka, as the two teams will play the final Twenty20 International (T20I) at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo on Thursday. Sri Lanka are ahead in the two-match series with a comfortable victory in the first T20I, and the onus will now be upon Bangladesh to put in their hundred per cent to win the match and save the series. The match will be an emotional affair for Bangladesh, as their skipper Mashrafe Mortaza will play his last T20I match. As the teams prepare for the match, here are their likely XIs: Full Cricket Scorecard: Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh 2nd T20I at Colombo

Top-order: Tamim Iqbal is the backbone of the Bangladesh top-order. Though he was bowled by a perfect Lasith Malinga yorker in the previous match for a duck, he will be relied upon for impetus. Soumya Sarkar, another southpaw, accompanies him for opening Bangladesh’s innings. Sarkar, who talented enough to play under any circumstances, needs to be more calm-headed while at the crease as the responsibility of laying a strong foundation on the opening duo. Following the two comes out Sabbir Rahman, Bangladesh’s latest favourite for the No. 3 position. Sabbir has been scoring consistently of late and will have to continue that.

With Kusal Perera scoring a brilliant 53-ball 77 in the previous match, he will undoubtedly be seen opening the innings for Sri Lanka once again on Thursday. At the other end will be Upul Tharanga, the skipper himself. All eyes will be on these two for a solid start to Sri Lanka’s innings. Tharanga is unlikely to change the winning combination and Dilshan Munaweera might get another chance to play at No. 3. However, he will have to come good, given the importance of the position.

Middle-order: Experienced candidates Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan are the two pillars of the Bangladesh middle-order. However, when they failed in the last game, Mahmudullah took charge along with young Mosaddek Hossain. All four players will have to fire for Bangladesh to put up a huge score. Mortaza himself is a hard-hitter and can contribute down the order.

Sri Lanka’s new-found hero Asela Gunaratne graces the middle-order. At No. 4, a lot of responsibility will be on him to maintain the flow of runs and trigger at the right moment to increase the run rate. He will find support from the likes of Thisara Perera and Milinda Siriwardene. Seekkuge Prasanna is one bowler who can play big knocks when needed. Malinga is also capable of scoring runs at a brisk rate.

Bowlers: Mashrafe Mortaza will lead Bangladesh’s pace attack in the T20Is for one last time. He has been consistent with wickets. With him, there will be the likes of Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed to complete the attack. Shakib will be their leading spinner while Mehedi Hasan can be brought in for the crucial fixture. Mehedi also counts as a handy lower-order batsman. Mahmudullah and Mosaddek can also bowl occasional overs.

Lasith Malinga was the game-changer for Sri Lanka with his early scalps and will open the bowling. With him, to strengthen the attack is young Vikum Sanjaya who has impressed one and all with his economical and effective spells so far. Nuwan Kulasekara, if picked, needs to be more disciplined. Gunaratne is another option who can confuse the batsmen with change in pace and has been economical. For spin, Sri Lanka will depend upon veteran Seekkuge Prasanna.

Likely XIs:

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed.

Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera (wk), Upul Tharanga (c), Dilshan Munaweera, Asela Gunaratne, Seekkugge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Chamara Kapugedara, Milinda Siriwardana, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Vikum Sanjaya