On Monday in a dead rubber, the two Asian teams; Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will meet at the Junction Oval, Melbourne. Having failed to open their account, both sides will look to play for pride and conclude the tournament on a winning note.
The teams had their highs during the competition but failed to capitalize on them. For instance, Bangladesh had a chance to cause an upset against New Zealand when the White Ferns were bundled out for a paltry 91. However, Salma Khatun and co. failed to grab the opportunity as they lost by 17 runs. Similarly, Sri Lanka had their chances against Australia when they were defending a modest 123 and had the Aussies struggling at 10-3. But the Lankans let loose and allowed Meg Lanning and Rachel Haynes to chase down the target with five wickets to spare.
The last match of the Group A between the two Asian teams will be of interest to the respective team managements as they would like to test their bench by giving a chance to the new players.
Head to Head
The two Asian sides have met just seven times in T20 format, with the Bangladeshi tigresses having an upper hand over the Sri Lankan lionesses with a 4-3 head to head statistic. The match on Monday though is a dead rubber, both the teams will look to end the tournament on a high as they have failed to register a single win in the competition.
Sri Lanka Women Squad: Umesha Thimashini, Chamari Athapaththu(c), Harshitha Madavi, Hansima Karunaratne, Hasini Perera, Shashikala Siriwardene, Nilakshi de Silva, Anushka Sanjeewani(w), Kavisha Dilhari, Sathya Sandeepani, Udeshika Prabodhani, Dilani Manodara, Ama Kanchana, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasuriya
Bangladesh Women Squad: Murshida Khatun, Ayasha Rahman, Ritu Moni, Nigar Sultana(w), Fargana Hoque, Rumana Ahmed, Fahima Khatun, Sobhana Mostary, Jahanara Alam, Salma Khatun(c), Panna Ghosh, Sanjida Islam, Shamima Sultana, Nahida Akter, Khadija Tul Kubra
Top fantasy picks (based on past performance)
Sri Lanka: Harshitha Madavi, Chamari Athapaththu, Shashikala Siriwardene, Udeshika Prabodhani
Bangladesh: Nigar Sultana, Murshida Khatun, Fargana Hoque, Ritu Moni, Rumana Ahmed, Salma Khatun, Panna Ghosh
Players to watch out for
Chamari Athapaththu: Sri Lankan skipper Chamari Athapaththu has been the lone warrior in the team, who has put in dollops of hard work with both, bat and ball. Athapaththu is a clean and powerful striker of the cricket ball and is an epitome of playing fearless cricket. She is more than handy with the ball. Her bowling repertoire boasts of variations and these coupled with her wealth of experience makes her a wicket-taking option.
Salma Khatun: Salma Khatun, the captain of Bangladesh is one of the best bowlers in the side. With six wickets in three games, the right arm off-break bowler is the highest wicket-taker in the team. Khatun is a parsimonious bowler and does not give any freebies to the batters. She is disciplined in her lines and lengths and is known for her consistency.
The Asian giants will lock horns against each other in the first match of the double-header on Monday. There is a bleak chance of rain in the lead-up to the double-header. Though it is expected that the Rain God will allow the game to happen, there could be a thin cloud cover. It is predicted that the maximum temperature will be 18 degrees on Monday. The wicket will be on a slower side and will assist the spinners.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.