Nidahas Trophy: Tigers to face Lankans Friday

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Sports Desk:

Shakib Al Hasan has returned to the squad and likely to captain the Bangladesh team in a must-win T20I against hosts Sri Lanka in the seven-match Nidahas Trophy tri-nation tournament at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.

The game will begin at 7:30pm (Bangladesh time) where both sides will try their best to confirm a single seat for the final after India.

Bangladesh lost their first game by six wickets against India before crushed Sri Lanka by five wickets with a record chase of 215 runs and again lost to India by 17 runs in the 5th games of the tournament.

Sri Lanka routed India by five wickets in the tournament opener before lost to Bangladesh and conceded a six-wicket defeat against India in the 4th T20I.

The Tigers are in the bottom of the table collecting two points from three games with one win while Sri Lankans are ahead of Bangladesh by virtue of batter run rate.

India confirmed a final seat as league leader collecting six points from four outings, having three wins against one loss.

Left-handed all-rounder Shakib has been included in the squad and joined his side in Colombo on Thursday and the Tigers are expecting him to appear in the do-or-die game as captain on Friday.

Shakib’s surprised return must boost Bangladesh even though he has returned from an injury what he suffered during fielding against Sri Lanka in the Tri-nation ODI series final in Mirpur on January 27.

After taking better treatment in Australia, Shakib returned home on Sunday and was taking up gym and training sessions in Dhaka. During the rehabilitation, Shakib also saw specialists in Thailand.

Earlier, Shakib was ruled out from T20I squad for Nidahas Trophy as he was recovering from his finger injury.

Sri Lanka will be wary of Shakib’s all-round ability, particularly in a T20I where four good overs can bring a big difference.

With Shakib’s return in the eleven, Nazmul Islam is likely to stepping out to reshape Bangladesh’s line-up.

Shakib’s inclusion would most likely mean Sabbir Rahman batting at number seven and five specialist bowlers. It should put a smile on interim coach Courtney Walsh’s face, as Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan Miraz can now rely on a very experienced bowler to take the lead role.

Sri Lankans have Dhananjaya de Silva as an extra to bring change as batting option while Amila Aponso and Isuru Udana are options for bowling spots.

This will be the last math on which Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal will miss as he was suspended for two games after being found guilty of a “serious over-rate offence” in Saturday’s match against Bangladesh.

Bangladesh best XI (probable): Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumar Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain and Abu Hider.

Sri Lanka best XI (probable): Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera (captain), Dasun Shanaka, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Pradeep.unb

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