The short ODI series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka comes to an end on Friday when the two sides meet in the third and final match in Dhaka. The series has already been decided but there are still World Cup Super Series points up for grabs.
Bangladesh know they have won the series but having had a lengthy losing run prior to it they will understand the need to win here too. Sri Lanka really need to find a win if they are going to avoid that qualifying event for the next World Cup so we should still be on for a competitive affair.
Bangladesh will be delighted to have won the series with a match to spare. Their task now is to maintain a winning mentality and push on in this format over the next 12-18 months so that they go to the next World Cup with a side ready to make a big impression there. Once again their experienced batsmen are the ones getting the job done so in an ideal world they would get something from their newer brigade sometime soon.
The strength of the Bangladesh side at the minute comes in the form of their bowling attack. We have known about Mustafizur Rahman and how good he is for a good while but now they have Mehidy Hasan Miraz joining the likes of he and Shakib-al-Hasan. With them bowling well there really isn’t a reason why they can’t develop themselves into a team who can contend in the next World Cup, particularly when you think that tournament is in this part of the world.
It was difficult to know what to expect from Sri Lanka heading into the series but even allowing for the fact that they are undergoing a change in approach and a transition period, I don’t think there is any escaping the fact that they have been extremely disappointing, particularly with the bat, the area of the game where you would have expected them to be better. They are blooding some young batsmen but there should still be enough experience to have delivered better than what we have seen.
One area of the game which has been much better for Sri Lanka has been their fielding. You tend to get that when younger players are brought into the mix and as a result of that their bowlers have built up some confidence, although how long that will last while their batsmen continue to flatter to deceive. They have a couple of handy bowlers waiting in the wings as well so that is something they can take out of the series at least. They could do with a win here just to convince themselves that what they are doing is going in the right direction.
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Mohammad Saifuddin is being checked ahead of this match after taking a whack to the head in the previous game. He is expected to feature though. This might be the match where the Bangladesh hierarchy choose to bring Mohammad Naim into the side.
Sri Lanka have Akila Dananjaya waiting in the wings but you would think of more concern would be their batting so it would be a surprise if Niroshan Dickwella doesn’t come into the side for one of the struggling youngsters.
I took the performance of Mehidy Hasan Miraz in the previous match when the line was 29.5 points and he covered it comfortably by taking three wickets and ending up with a total of 60 points. That follows on from the opening game where his performance amassed a total of 110 points. He stil hasn’t scored a run in the series even though he did actually get to the crease on Tuesday, so there is every reason to believe that there is more potential for scoring to come, particularly when you consider he has a Test match 100 to his name.
Despite it being covered twice and emphatically so in both matches so far, the line hasn’t actually moved which is a surprise. Although there is the potential for him to put more points on the board, there isn’t actually a need for them given how well he has covered it so far. This line only needs two wickets, a wicket and a catch or a wicket and a few runs. It might even be that if something goes wrong with the Bangladesh top order that it can be covered with the bat. Whichever of the three scoring methods are needed though, I’ve got to think the over is a good thing once again here.
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