Mominul Haque and Liton Das put on 180 runs together to make the game safe for Bangladesh

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka preview, 2nd Test

Ban v SL, 2nd Test, preview

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka head to Mirpur for the deciding match of a two-Test series after a run-heavy draw in Chittagong.

Overview

Bangladesh v Sri Lanka

Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur
2nd Test
Thursday 8 February, 09:30 local time; 03:30 GMT

After a run-fest in Chittagong, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka head to Mirpur for a series-decider. The opening Test match saw 1,533 runs scored, only 24 out of the possible 40 wickets taken and five centuries and six half-centuries scored, as the batsmen from both sides made hay while the sun shone. 

The stalemate, for which the Chittagong pitch received a rating of "below average" from the match referee, means it is all to play for in the final match of the two-Test series. Despite Sri Lanka being three places higher in the MRF ICC Men's Test Team Rankings, the pitch meant there was nothing between the two sides in Chittagong.

The nature of the first Test means there are plenty of batsmen on both sides feeling in good touch. Bangladesh's Mominul Haque made scores of 176 and 105, while Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis (196), Dhananjaya de Silva (173) and Roshen Silva (109) all also made centuries. In fact, it would be easier to mention batsmen who did not make runs.

Bangladesh have shuffled their pack, leaving out Sunzamul Islam and Rubel Hossain and calling up batsman Sabbir Rahman. Sri Lanka are still without the injured Angelo Mathews, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury. 

Key players

Mominul Haque (Bangladesh): The 26-year-old piled on 281 runs in Chittagong, but it wasn't just the number of runs he scored, but the way he scored them and their context which mattered. Mominul went from four Test centuries to six in the space of two innings, becoming the first Bangladesh player to pass three figures in the same Test match. His 180-run partnership with Liton Das showed a glimpse of the future for the Tigers. If Mominul can perform again in Mirpur he will go a long way to confirming his potential.

Rangana Herath may hold the key to Sri Lanka's ability to take 20 wickets in Mirpur
Rangana Herath may hold the key to Sri Lanka's ability to take 20 wickets in Mirpur

Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka): It is difficult to overstate how important the diminutive left-arm spinner is to Sri Lanka. Herath sits 13th on the all-time Test wicket-takers list with 411 scalps and is eighth in the ICC Men's Test Bowling Rankings. The 39-year-old has been a picture of consistency throughout his career. It was no surprise that it was he who finished the first Test with the most wickets. In subcontinent conditions Herath is a match-winner, as his nine 10-wicket hauls and 33 five-wicket hauls in Tests indicate. He could be Sri Lanka's biggest weapon in Mirpur.  

Conditions

Bangladesh will take confidence from that fact that they won their last two Test matches at Mirpur – against England and Australia. However, Sri Lanka have played two Tests at the stadium and won both, with their most recent – a 248-run victory in January 2014 – seeing them rack up the ground's highest Test total of 730/6d.

Having received plenty of criticism for the Chittagong pitch, Bangladesh will surely look to prepare a better surface in Mirpur. Rain won't be a problem, with warm weather and clouds forecast for the duration of the match. 

Sabbir Rahman has been called up despite scoring just 42 runs in four innings during the recent ODI tri-series
Sabbir Rahman has been called up despite scoring just 42 runs in four innings during the recent ODI tri-series

Squads 

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne, Dilruwan Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Roshen Silva, Niroshan Dickwella (wkt), Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Lakshan Sandakan, Kusal Mendis, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananjaya, Lahiru Kumara, Danushka Gunathilaka.

Bangladesh: Liton Das (wkt), Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah (c), Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Abdur Razzak, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Mosaddek Hossain, Naeem Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Tanbir Hayder.

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Standings

Group A

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 England 3 +1.045 6
2 Bangladesh 3 +0.000 3
3 Australia 3 -0.992 2
4 New Zealand 3 -1.058 1

Group B

Pos Team P NRR Pts
1 India 3 +1.370 4
2 Pakistan 3 -0.680 4
3 South Africa 3 +0.167 2
4 Sri Lanka 3 -0.798 2

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