Deadline: May 25, 12:30 PM IST
Bangladesh must have finally heaved a sigh. Their 33-run victory over Sri Lanka in the first ODI was their first win in 10 international games, and more importantly, it was an all-round performance.
They, by all means, could not have batted better. Mushfiqur Rahim (84 off 87) led the resurgence in the middle-overs and stitched a vital stand of 109 runs with Mahmudullah (54 off 76). Before they took the centre stage, their captain Tamim Iqbal had laid a strong foundation with 52 off 70.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, seem to lack experience and firepower in the middle-order. Had it not been for Hasaranga’s 74 off 60, Sri Lanka would have been bundled out for a paltry total. The onus thus remains on the new captain Kusal Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka. The duo did start off well on Sunday, but lost their defences to the off-spin of Mehidy Hasan Miraz.
Bangladesh realised that the only way to stop the rampaging Wanindu Hasaranga was to bowl off-cutters. The ploy worked and the Sri Lankan batsmen could not muscle the slower deliveries to the boundary line. The same ploy will be employed in the series-decider at Shere Bangla National Stadium on Tuesday.
The pitch slowed down as the match progressed. The team batting first will be ahead in the race.
Mustafizur Rahman was seen limping during the first match, struggling with his calf. Although it looked like a minor injury, Bangladesh are likely to replace him with Shoriful Islam in order to keep him fit for the final match. Otherwise, there’s no point fiddling with the winning combination.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (c), Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam/Mustafizur Rahman
Isuru Udana may not have provided the impetus with the ball, but he is a handy batsman down the order. If there’s any change that Sri Lanka are likely to make, it will be in the spin department. The pitch suits Akila Dananjaya’s style of bowling, and hence, the ax is likely to fall on Lakshan Sandakan.
Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera (c & wk), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Ashen Bandara, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya/Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on recent performances, impact, and credit points.
Sri Lanka lack teeth in both batting and bowling departments, and they can’t escape from this fact. If they have to put Bangladesh on the back foot, they will have to bat well as a cohesive unit and not lose wickets in clusters. Steady partnerships should derail Bangladesh’s focus.
Bangladesh have a clear edge and if they bat first again, they might as well register their first bilateral ODI win against Sri Lanka.