It has been a perfect start for the Lankan Lions in their home season as they have wrapped up the three-match ODI series with another impressive win. It seems that the Bangladesh team has lost all the steam they generated in the 2019 World Cup. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan side has gone from strength to strength and it gave them their first ODI series win at home after almost four years. Although the series is sealed, the third ODI will be played in Colombo and both the teams have a lot to gain from the so-called dead rubber.
Till now the island nation has looked dominant in each of the departments. Their batsmen have been among the runs and their bowlers have been relentless at every stage of the game. In both the games, the youngsters Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perara have stepped up with match-winning performances. The seniors Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Pradeep have also justified their role in the side. It has been a total team effort from the Lankan Lions which has been lacking in the past few months.
The Bangla Tigers have played poor cricket as the team looks passive under the leadership of Tamim Iqbal. Even though the batting has been carried by senior statesman Mushfiqur Rahim, the other batters have failed to compliment him. In the bowling unit nobody has come up with an inspired spell and particularly the new ball has not been used effectively. All in all the side is missing the services of their superstar, Shakib Al Hasan but they need to find solutions for their problems as a whitewash is looming over their heads.
The skipper, Dimuth Karunaratne has led the side well but he needs to improve his batting statistics. The other opener Avishka Fernando will be brewing with confidence after his sparkling 80. Kusal Perara will be trying to add more runs to his tally. Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews have performed their middle-order duties aptly with the former also being efficient with his glovework.
Isuru Udana might get a push in his batting position if the team needs an explosive finish in the end overs. Dhananjaya de Silva and Akila Dananjaya will be looking for wickets in the middle-overs. Nuwan Pradeep will be again taking the new ball. Isuru Udana and Lahiru Kumara have bowled decently but they will be focusing on their death bowling skills to fill the void of Lasith Malinga. Kasun Rajitha might also get a look in if they decide to rest one of the bowlers.
Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (wk), Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dhananjaya de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Isuru Udana, Lahiru Kumara/Kasun Rajitha, Nuwan Pradeep/Dasun Shanaka.
The stand-by skipper, Tamim Iqbal will be desperate for some runs as he has been woefully out of form since the start of 2019 World Cup. The same is the case with Soumya Sarkar who will be playing for his place in the side. Anamul Haque will be taking the spot of Mohammad Mithun who had two below-par outings. The lone bright spot is Mushfiqur Rahim’s batting form. Mahumudullah or Sabbir Rahman will be making way for Farhad Reza.
Mosaddek Hossain might retain his place in the playing XI because of his all-round abilities. The spin-options Mehidy Hasan has not been able to create pressure on the opposition and Taijul Islam lacked penetration in his only game. The pace attack led by Mustafizur Rahman will be looking to make the new ball count and restrict the run-flow. Taskin Ahmed can get his comeback opportunity if the team decides to bench Shafiul Islam.
Tamim Iqbal (C), Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Mithun/Anamul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Mahmudullah/ Farhad Reza, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed/ Shafiul Islam
The focus will be on
Akila Dananjaya (Sri Lanka)
The youngster was quick to make his mark after his World Cup snub. In his return game, he took two crucial wickets to make early in-roads in the Bangladesh middle-order. Akila Dananjaya is a match-winner and the team needs to back him as their premier spinner. His variations can bamboozle the best of the batting line-ups.
Soumya Sarkar (Bangladesh)
The southpaw has been given a long run as his attacking game helped the team win their first multi-nation event earlier in the year. Since then he has failed to convert his starts and has also put pressure on Tamim Iqbal. Soumya Sarkar can carve out the best bowling attacks. He will be itching to produce a quality knock after letting down his team in the previous outings.
Head to Head
Matches played – 47 | Sri Lanka won -38 | Bangladesh won – 7 | No Result – 2
15 – Runs needed by Mahmudullah to become the fourth Bangladesh player to score 4000 ODI runs
2 – Number of 4-wicket hauls taken by Akila Dananjaya in Colombo
TV – Sony Six
Online- Sony Liv
Match Timings – 14:30 IST, 14:30 local
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