BAN vs SL, 6th ODI, Tri-series 2018, Preview: Depleted Sri Lanka eager to qualify for the finals
Zimbabwe needs Sri Lanka to lose by a bigger margin to qualify for the finals.
Updated - Jan 24, 2018 5:23 pm
The ongoing tri-nation series has been going only the way of hosts Bangladesh ever since it has started with the other two teams struggling to make their presence felt. Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka have fought closely when clashed against each other but have capitulated in front of the home side. Though it is time for the team from the island nation to deliver the goods and qualify for the finals. However, it would not be a straightforward task for them with Bangladesh looking almost unbeatable in the current form scenario.
The injuries have haunted Sri Lanka badly once again and though it should not be an excuse for their poor performances of late. The team has to perform collectively to defeat a world class side which is not happening in the near future. Even in their last game against Zimbabwe, they struggled while chasing 198 which should have been a rather straightforward chase.
All said and done, they have a great chance to qualify for the title clash after Zimbabwe failed miserably the other day. Even if they can’t win, Sri Lanka needs to make sure that they don’t lose the match by a big margin and keep their net run-rate above the team in red.
What can be said about the team like Bangladesh at home? They’ve been superb in all the facets of the game and are tipped as favourites to win the tournament. The way they’ve played is the testimony to their improved brand of cricket. The only thing which can come back to haunt them is the complacency which could creep into them after three back to back easy wins. However, they would know that Sri Lanka is a dangerous side and have the capability to beat them on any given day.
The happiest man on the planet currently would be Mashrafe Mortaza, the skipper of Bangladesh. The team has done extremely well in this tournament so far and have been flawless. They have no reason to change their winning combination but Sunzamul Islam could make way for Mohammad Saifuddin as both of them have been playing only against a particular team so far in this series. The top order led by Tamim Iqbal is in great form and even the lower order contributed with the bat in their last match.
The team management though would love for the middle order to score some runs as they were found wanting against Zimbabwe when they had the chance to perform. The bowling attack also has been impeccable and there is no need to tinker the combination.
Probable XI: Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim(wk), Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Nasir Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman
Sri Lanka’s struggles in the limited overs format have continued in 2018 as well. Though they won the match against Zimbabwe a few days ago, they huffed and puffed towards the meagre target. Injuries to key players are not helping their cause either. The latest player to be ruled out is Kusal Perera after suffering from the side strain in the last match. Dhananjaya de Silva has been flown in as an urgent replacement for the left-hander and could well find himself in the playing XI.
Thisara Perera has been the shining light for them with wickets and runs in all the three matches. But he needs support from his teammates if they are to defeat the strongest ever Bangladesh unit at home. Niroshan Dickwella might open the innings in Perera’s absence.
Probable XI: Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Upal Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Dhanajaya de Silva, Dinesh Chandimal (C), Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep.
Head to Head record
Overall: Played – 42 Bangladesh – 6 Sri Lanka – 34 N/R – 2
Focus will be on
Mahmudullah hasn’t got much opportunity to showcase his skills with the bat in this series so far. In the last game, he failed to latch on to launch an assault from the perfect platform set by the top order. He might be promoted up the order as Bangladesh have already qualified for the final. Mahumudullah is too good a player to stay out of the radar as he has been a vital cog of the side for a long time. Even he would’ve realised by now that he needs to perform consistently to stay in contention for the national side.
Niroshan Dickwella (Sri Lanka)
Niroshan Dickwella was not in the starting XI when Sri Lanka played their first game in this tri-series and only came in after Angelo Mathews was ruled out. The wicket-keeper batsman has been struggling consistently and would know that time is running out for him. The team management is thinking differently now and has backed Dinesh Chandimal to don the gloves. Dickwella needs to hit the straps soon and what better than in the must-win situation for his team in this series. His return in form would also bolster their otherwise depleted looking batting line-up.
3 – Shakib Al Hasan has taken three wickets in each of his last three ODIs. This is the first time he has taken 3-fers in three straight ODIs.
30 – Mashrafe Mortaza has won 30 ODIs which are the most for a Bangladesh skipper.
TV: Star Sports