Bangladesh are 1-0 down in their three-match ODI contest against Sri Lanka after an agonising loss in the opening game. The Tigers have a must-win encounter on Thursday if they hope to take a positive result from the series.
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Date: Thursday, February 20
Start time: 11 a.m. GMT
Live on: Star Cricket (Asia), Zee Cinema (U.K.), Willow TV (USA)
Weather: Accuweather predicts a sunny and pleasant day with highs of 27 degrees.
Bangladesh have been pushing Sri Lanka very close almost every time the two sides have met over the last month or so, but they have yet to find a way of getting over the winning line.
The hosts lost the first ODI by just 13 runs, but it was a deeply disappointing outcome after pegging Sri Lanka back to 67-8. Thanks to a Thisara Perera blitz, with the all-rounder hammering 80 off 57 balls, Sri Lanka managed to post 180 before being dismissed. Bangladesh's bowlers were solid, but it was the batting which really let them down.
Just two players, Shamsur Rahman and Mominul Haque managed significant scores, with 62 and 44 respectively. The rest of the batting flopped with just one other player managing double figures.
Mushfiqur Rahim was forced to defend his bowling tactics after taking Shakib Al Hasan out of the attack with Sri Lanka 63-6 and by the time Perera had lifted the score to 143-8, Shakib had still not returned. Poor fielding also played a part in Sri Lanka's rescue act and Rahim was quoted by ESPNCricinfo as saying:
There was killer instinct. If the catches would have been taken, they could have been bowled out within hundred. If you have noticed, Perera was taking chances when he was hitting Sunny bhai. Our plan was to use away-going deliveries, so that he edged something. We didn't want Perera to play according to his strengths. The plan was fine, unfortunately, we couldn't hold on to the catches.
The second game will be a chance for Bangladesh to prove that they are the little team that can—and for Mushfiqur to show he is a capable captain. Application, consistency and a little self-belief and there's no reason the Tigers cannot beat their visitors.
Shamsur Rahman has shown some promise in the three ODIs he has played for Bangladesh. Having made his debut last year, he's scored two fifties in those three games and his value at the top of the order will, once again, be crucial.
Angelo Mathews played a crucial role with the ball in the first ODI. His three wickets for 21 was vital and as a player who seems to work beautifully in subcontinental conditions Sri Lanka will be looking to him to come into his all-round role in the second ODI.
Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal (vice-captain), Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Mahmudullah, Sohag Gazi, Arafat Sunny, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Naeem Islam, Shafiul Islam
Kushal Janith Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara(w), Dinesh Chandimal, Ashan Priyanjan, Angelo Mathews(c), Kithuruwan Vithanage, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Ajantha Mendis, Angelo Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dhammika Prasad