Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka won the last Asia Cup in 2014Getty

Sri Lanka take on United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the second match of the Asia Cup T20 tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Bangladesh, on 25 February (Thursday).

Where to watch

The match starts at 1.30GMT. No live coverage of the game in the UK.

Overview

Defending champions Sri Lanka will play their first match of the Asia Cup as they take on United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Thursday.

The Lankan Lions, who won the tournament in 2014, come into the Asia Cup T20 on the back of some disastrous performances, losing to India and New Zealand in their last two Twenty20 series. What would worry the team management is that the youngsters haven't stepped up, thus the responsibilities fall on the senior players.

In Angelo Matthews, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Kulasekara and skipper Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka have a core group of players who are experienced hands in the T20 format, while Chamara Kapugedara and Thisara Perera will be expected to contribute at important times. Irrespective of their record of late in sub-continental conditions, Sri Lanka will be the team to beat. They have an excellent record in the Asia Cup, winning it five times so far.

Their opposition, United Arab Emirates (UAE), were not supposed to be here, however, they shocked everyone by knocking out Afghanistan to qualify for the 2016 Asia Cup T20. Not much is known about the associate nation but in Rohan Mustafa, Mohammad Shahzad and Muhammad Usman they have players who are capable of holding their own. They do come into the game as underdogs and with nothing to lose, they would likely go out and attack with all guns blazing.

Prediction

Sri Lanka to win

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Sri Lanka to win: 1/6
  • UAE to win: 4

Team news

Sri Lanka

Possible XI: Shehan Jayasuriya, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Angelo Mathews, Chamara Kapugedara, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachitra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga (c)

UAE

Possible XI: Rohan Mustafa, Muhammad Kaleem, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammad Shahzad, Amjad Javed (c), Muhammad Usman, Mohammad Naveed, Swapnil Patil (wk), Saqlain Haider, Ahmed Reza, Qadeer Ahmed