Middle-overs muddle with bat and ball seems to be Sri Lanka’s biggest problem which
they’ll be hoping to address as they attempt a comeback in the three-match series against Bangladesh. The hosts, meanwhile, will be eyeing a series win in a bid to top the World Cup Super League table.
Sri Lanka, in the first game, started off well with bat and ball but lack of penetration in the middle overs hurt them dearly. The onus, once again, will be on their experienced openers – Kusal Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka – to dig deep and play a significant knock. The bowling department, despite lack of experience, surpassed expectations, but a little more consistency from the spin duo of Hasaranga-Sandakan would do a world of good for the visitors. Hasaranga, the lone bright spot in the batting department from the first ODI, could be promoted up the order given his counter-attacking instincts, which nearly threatened to take the game away from the hosts on Sunday.
“I am not like Pollard or Russell to strike them big. I stuck to my strengths, milked the runs and had to keep one end safe,” is how Mushfiqur Rahim described his match-winning knock during the post-match presentation. A 109-run partnership between Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah turned things around and an inspired spell of bowling from Mehidy Hasan ensured a comfortable 33-run win for the home side. Coming in the second game, their main focus would be to iron out the mini batting collapses which proved too costly in the recent past.
Sri Lanka are currently ranked 12th, and a win will help them retain that spot. Bangladesh, on the other hand, will leap to the top of the table, displacing World Champions England while at it.
When: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI
Where: Shere Bangla National stadium, Dhaka
What to expect: Another spin-friendly track is expected in Dhaka as spinners accounted for 10 off the 16 wickets in the first ODI. In the last 8 games at the venue, five have been won by the team chasing. There is a high chance of rain interruptions in the second half of the game which could tempt the winning captain to bowl first.
Bangladesh: Mustafizur Rahman struggled with his calf during his spell and though it appeared to be a minor injury, Bangladesh might not want to risk one of their senior players. Should they go for like-for-like replacement, the 19-year-old Shoriful Islam could make his debut in the format.
Possible XI: Tamim Iqbal (C), Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (W), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman/Shoriful Islam
Sri Lanka: Lakshan Sandakan and Isuru Udana didn’t quite live up to expectations with the ball and if anything, it’s one area that might see some chop-and-change. Also, it will be interesting to see if they persist with Ashen Bandara who looked all at sea in the first game
Possible XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera (C/W), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Ashen Bandara/Niroshan Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana/ Ramesh Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan/Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera.
What they said:
“I think we lost 10 games across all formats. Winning is happiness. Boys are really happy. We hope we can put on a better show next time,” said an elated Tamim Iqbal after the win in the first game.
“They (Bangladesh) have a lot of seniors with plenty of experience, our bowlers weren’t so, but restricting them to 257 was a good effort. On our batting, we need to start taking more responsibility” – Sri Lanka skipper Kusal Perera is hoping to turn things around in the second ODI.
Bangladesh Squad: Tamim Iqbal(c), Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(w), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Mahedi Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Shoriful Islam.
Sri Lanka Squad: Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera(w/c), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Ashen Bandara, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera, Niroshan Dickwella, Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando, Ramesh Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Asitha Fernando, Shiran Fernando