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Sri Lanka brace for do-or-die match against confident Bangladesh

  • Published at 09:42 pm January 24th, 2018
  • Last updated at 09:44 pm January 24th, 2018
Sri Lanka brace for do-or-die match against confident Bangladesh
Host Bangladesh will play their last group stage match against visiting Sri Lanka in the tri-nation ODI series at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Thursday. The match begins at midday. The Tigers have already won all three matches in the tournament with bonus points gained in every match to qualify for the final and the home side will certainly not want to lose the momentum. Bangladesh might give an opportunity to all-rounders like Abul Hasan or Mehedi Hasan Miraz before the grand finale. The Tigers enjoyed a day off Wednesday and did not train. On the other hand, Sri Lanka have no other option but to win in order to qualify for the final. The Lankans won one match against Zimbabwe and lost the other two. Zimbabwe won one game in four matches. Zimbabwe will advance to the final with a superior run rate to that of Sri Lanka’s if Bangladesh win against the Lankans by 70 runs or chase down their target within 38 overs. Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal informed that they are full focused on Thursday's game. “In this kind of tournament if you lose the first two games it’s always tough. But sometimes it gives you more confidence and morale to come back strong. As a team, we’re looking at it that way. We will have something up our sleeves as a team, and we’re hoping to get a good result,” said Chandimal during the pre-match press conference Wednesday. “We all know that Bangladesh – when they are playing on their home soil – are really good as a team. They’ve played some outstanding cricket through this series so the credit goes to the Bangladesh team. We can all make mistakes. Cricket is like that. They’re on their home soil but as a team we need to play to our strengths. That’s what we want to do. “Our preparation is very good. We’ve made plans and talked about those plans about how we need to play. If we can maximise our talent and play to our ability, we will get a good result,” he added. Chandimal termed Bangladesh as a tough opponent and praised the senior players for their recent improvements. “This team is outstanding. They’ve got some very good players, for example Tamim [Iqbal], Shakib [al Hasan], Mushfiqur [Rahim] and Mahmudullah. They are doing their roles – that’s the main thing as senior players. They’ve played now almost eight to 10 years in international cricket. I think that’s the advantage they’ve got at the moment. They’re playing some outstanding cricket now,” said Chandimal. Sri Lanka are facing some injury concerns as regular captain Angelo Mathews and batsman Kusal Perera have been ruled out. Pacer Nuwan Pradeep is also doubtful due to injury. “We haven’t taken a decision on him (Pradeep) either. We’ll take the physio’s recommendation into account and make our decision on whether he plays,” Chandimal said. “We haven’t decided on the team that will play. Kusal Janith Perera is being observed – to see if he can play. If he can’t play Danushka Gunathilaka has a good chance of coming into the side,” he concluded. Head to head ODIs played - 42 Bangladesh wins - 6 Sri Lanka wins - 34 No results - 2 Win % - Bangladesh 15, Sri Lanka 85 Most runs - Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh, 635), Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka, 1206) Highest score - Tamim (127), Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka, 161*) Most wickets - Mashrafe bin Mortaza (Bangladesh, 23), Muttiah Muralidaran (Sri Lanka, 31) Best bowling - Abdur Razzak (Bangladesh, 5/62), Chaminda Vaas (6/25)