With the cricket returning to the island shores some of the luck has returned to Lankan Lions camp. They won the inaugural tie of the 3 match ODI series convincingly. The Bangla Tigers looked tired from their England expedition. The game also saw the final hurrah of Lasith Malinga‘s ODI career who has been a true servant of Sri Lankan cricket. Now the action will continue in Colombo when the hosts take on Bangladesh for the second tie.
The island nation played a near-perfect game as their batting unit rose to the occasion and the bowlers backed their efforts brilliantly. Most of the batsmen spent time in the middle and looked comfortable in their stay. Especially Kusal Perara who was striking the ball well and notched up his fifth ODI ton. The bowlers used the new ball effectively and all of them got wickets to expect Thisara Perara. They will miss the services of Malinga but Nuwan Pradeep also scaled a 3-fer in the last game which is a good sign for the team.
Tamim Iqbal’s captaincy debut didn’t go as planned as the team lost the plot in both the departments. In batting apart from Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman nobody took the responsibility of guiding the side. Even the bowlers got it wrong in the first half of the innings and the opposition cashed in. Mustafizur Rahman looked rusty in his opening spell but hit his straps in the death overs. Overall the team missed the contributions from their World Cup hero, Shakib Al Hasan and they need to find solutions quickly before the time runs out.
The skipper Dimuth Karunaratne will be looking to contribute more with the bat along with his captaincy skills. The other opener Avishka Fernando needs to find consistency in his trade. Kusal Perara will be eager to start his second essay after a match-winning ton. The middle-order containing Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews will be taking more responsibility after throwing away their starts last time. The former will also be seen behind the wickets.
Thisara Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva might serve the role of finishers and will provide the required balance to the side with their all-round abilities. The later has been more than handy than with his off-spin bowling. Now with Lasith Malinga retired Nuwan Pradeep will be leading the bowling unit along with Isuru Udana and Lahiru Kumara. The youngster Kumara has the pace to trouble the best of the batsman.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (wk), Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perara, Isuru Udana/ Dasun Shanaka, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Pradeep.
The veteran Tamim Iqbal will be trying to lead the side from the front and get some runs at the top. Soumya Sarkar will be assisting his skipper and he is also in need of a quality knock. Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman will be looking to continue their good form and the keeper-batsman Anamul Haque might get a look in place of Mohammad Mithun. The team will require Mosaddek Hossain’s power game in the final overs.
The spin department will be served by Mehidy Hasan who was scratchy in the last game. Being the premier fast-bowler of the side Mustafizur Rahman will be improving his show. He will be sharing the new-ball with Shafiul Islam who was the pick of the bowlers last time with his 3-wicket haul. Rubel Hossain can take care of the middle-overs and can also bowl at the death.
Tamim Iqbal (C), Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun/ Anamul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed/ Shafiul Islam
The focus will be on
Avishka Fernando (Sri Lanka)
The youngster was one of the finds of the Sri Lankan team in the 2019 World Cup. Avishka Fernando can play shots all around the park. He can become a batting mainstay if enough opportunities are presented to him. Fernando is an important player for the island nation as he has the knack of scoring runs even on good balls.
Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
The left-arm pacer can provide crucial breakthroughs with the new ball and as well as with the old one. He was the joint highest wicket-taker when the Bangla tigers visited Sri Lanka in 2017. Mustafizur Rahman was rusty in his first outing so he will be keen to correct his mistakes. His spell will decide the fate of the side in the second game.
Matches played: 46 | Sri Lanka: won – 37 | Bangladesh: won – 7 | No Result – 2
9 – Number of ODI matches lost by Bangladesh team in Colombo
46 – Batting average recorded by Kusal Mendis in Colombo
TV – Sony Six and Sony Six HD
Online – Sony Liv
Match Timings – 14:30 IST, 14:30 local.
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