Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd ODI, Dambulla – Preview

Home side could ring in changes as it aims to keep series alive, Mortaza keen that his batsmen build on startsEverything has been coming together so well for Bangladesh, and it’s been happening more and more of late. In the first One-Day International of the three-match series in Sri Lanka on Saturday, it went almost like clockwork for the side.

Asked to bat first, it had one top-order batsman, Tamim Iqbal, scoring a reasonably quick century – 127 in 142 balls, and two other batsmen – Sabbir Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan – adding quick half-centuries. If that wasn’t enough, Mosaddek Hossain and Mahmudullah hit 37 runs in 16 balls between them to provide the final thrust. All of it added up to 324 runs on the board, and it was followed by a strong enough bowling performance, scoreboard pressure telling on the Sri Lankan batting line-up as it folded for 234 with 29 balls left in the chase.

It wasn’t what Sri Lanka would have wanted after the Test series ended 1-1. In ODIs, Bangladesh is a stronger outfit than it is in Tests, so the dominant performance was only to be expected. And Sri Lanka can expect more of the same from Bangladesh now in the second game, on Tuesday (March 28) in Dambulla.

It is a match the home side would be desperate to win to stay alive in the series, with Bangladesh understandably keen to carry on the good work and seal the matter with one game left.

This isn’t the best team Sri Lanka can put on the field. It would have liked to have Angelo Mathews, the regular captain, and Kusal Perera, the wicketkeeper-batsman, around. The absence of the two key players has certainly hit it hard, but with some pedigree in the batting order in the form of Upul Tharanga, the captain, Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis, Sri Lanka should hope to put up decent totals, especially with hard-hitters like Thisara Perera and Asela Gunaratne to build on good foundations.

The bowling is not weak either, with Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara the main pacers and Thisara and Gunaratne, its best bowler in the first game, around for back-up. The spin department fronted by Sachith Pathirana, the left-arm spinner, and Lakshan Sandakan, the left-arm wrist-spinner, is handy too.

Seekkuge Prasanna didn’t play the first game, as was the case with Dhananjaya de Silva; Sri Lanka would be tempted to tinker with its XI in this must-win game, and de Silva’s name is bound to come up.

No comments:

Post a Comment