• Saturday, Jul 31, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:54 pm

Confident Tigers eye clean sweep

  • Published at 10:47 pm May 27th, 2021
Mushfiqur Rahim during training in Mirpur last month BCB

Bangladesh are oozing with confidence having already won the series, defeating the island nation by 33 runs and 103 runs [D/L method] in the first and second game respectively

A confident Bangladesh team will eye a series sweep when they take on visitors Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI of the series at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Friday.

Bangladesh are oozing with confidence having already won the series, defeating the island nation by 33 runs and 103 runs [Duckworth/Lewis method] in the first and second game respectively.

The series win was Bangladesh’s first against Sri Lanka in any format.

The team are also flying high having reached the top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League standing.

Bangladesh are now at the top with five wins and 50 points from eight games and will surely be eager to add another 10 points to the tally winning the third ODI.

Despite the victories, Bangladesh will look to better their performance with the bat.

Bangladesh batted first in the first two matches and struggled in both.

The top-order failed to deliver on both occasions putting the pressure on the middle-order and wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim emerged as the savior twice.

The right-handed batsman scored 84 in the first game to push Bangladesh's total to 257 for the loss of six wickets and in the second produced an ever bigger knock.

Mushfiq driven by his tremendous form scored a 127-ball 125 to guide Bangladesh to a defendable 246. 

Bangladesh captain and opener Tamim Iqbal had put up runs in the first game with a half-century, while Mahmudullah was there to help with his 54 and 41 respectively.

The situation for Bangladesh has once again come to a point where the team has to rely on the most experienced members.

There are players categorized as juniors despite the fact that many of them have already played six to seven years of international cricket but have not been able to build the reputation.

Opener Liton Das and Afif Hossain in the middle-order has been a worry for the batting unit.

No score from Mohammad Mithun saw him get replaced by Mosaddek Hossain in the second but that did not bring much of a change.

Top-order batsman Mohammad Naim has been included in the squad for the final game, hinting that a struggling Liton might have to give away his place.

But that will put light on the process of the selection, given the fact that Soumya Sarkar will remain without a match despite being in the squad from the beginning.

The bowlers for Bangladesh on the other hand have delivered well.

The unit has taken 19 wickets off the 20 in the first two games with Mehedi Hasan Miraz leading the group, complemented well by Mustafizur Rahman.

The off-spinner has secured seven wickets in the series and this has pulled him up to the second spot in the ODI bowlers’ ranking.

“I think we have not been able to play our best game [in the series] yet, let it with be with the ball or bat. We had discussion on this in the team. So there will be effort to bring out the best game we have. The top-order and the lower middle-order have not been able to deliver well in the first two games so we will need to come out better in those areas. We will have our focus on that,” said Mahmudullah Thursday.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka, who will be desperate to avoid a whitewash, will be eager to have their recognized batsmen rise to the occasion.

With 80 runs to his name, Wanindu Hasaranga has scored the most for the touring team.

The performance in the series and frustration at sitting at bottom in the 12-team ICC Super League table only raises further question of Sri Lanka Cricket’s decision to drop its experienced campaigners over contract dispute.

But that should not take away the experience that Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva carry into the team, and they have simply failed at their job.

In the bowling department, Dushmantha Chameera and Lakshan Sandakan have been picking wickets. 

There have been occasions when Sri Lanka bowlers have put Bangladesh in a worried situation only to see the home side fight back and take away the momentum.

Bangladesh [probable]:

Tamim Iqbal (captain), Mohammad Naim, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicket-keeper), Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Shariful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman

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