Bangladesh are 1-0 ahead in the series and their players are confident that if they can play their best cricket, then a series win is well and truly possible. If the visiting side do win on Saturday, then it will be their first away series victory since 2009.
Tigers limited-over skipper Mashrafe bin Mortaza said in the pre-match press conference that they are confident of performing well in the third ODI but admitted that they have to play their best possible in order to defeat the formidable Lankans in their backyard.
“If we can win, it will of course feel very good. But for that to happen, we have to play very good cricket. If you see the last match, they scored 300 (311). Obviously, the wicket was very good, but maybe we have to try to minimise 20-25 runs from that. Where they can score 300, we have to keep them under 280,” Mashrafe told the media on Friday.
“So if we can do something like that the task will become easier for us. As I said, we have to play according to the plan, otherwise it will be difficult. If you look at the history, it says 270-290 is the average score, which means it can also go over 300. So I think we have to be mentally prepared for that. Let’s see what happens,” he said.
Shakib al Hasan took a break from the optional practice session on Friday. The rest of players from the 17-man squad took part in training. The Tigers started practice with light warm up and fielding drills. Then the batsmen batted at the nets while the pacers were performing spot bowling under the guidance of pace bowling coach Courtney Walsh in the background.
Bangladesh might play the same playing XI like the first two ODIs but according to the team management, a final decision will only be taken after observing the pitch in the morning of the match-day.
In contrast, the Lankans are under pressure as they have now lost six consecutive ODIs this year. Their interim ODI captain Upul Tharanga did not come to the pre-match presser for the second time in the series.
Instead, team manager Asanka Gurusinha predicted that the pitch can be good for batting and that it will be a good contest.
“There’s a little bit of grass on it, so it’ll be a good track. There’s a little bit of grass on it in the first hour to hour and a half, the ball will move a bit. It’ll be a good batting track at the end of the day. If you’re prepared to play shots it will be good. I feel it’ll be a great game, because SSC is a great wicket. That’s the reason we’ll look at going with the same 12 players,” said Gurusinha.
The second ODI between the two sides was washed out to rain and weather can play a crucial part yet again as forecasts suggest late-afternoon shower in Colombo on Saturday. It is a day match but still, toss can prove to be crucial. The team winning the toss are likely to bat first in order to save their energy for the rest of the match amid the scorching heat.