Sri Lanka sealed their three-match ODI series against Bangladesh with a 61-run win thanks to a Kumar Sangakkara ton. There's one game left to go for Bangladesh to salvage some pride from a frustrating series.
Venue: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur
Date: Saturday, February 22
Start time: 7 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 29 degrees.
Bangladesh have been feisty competitors for much of their multi-format series against Sri Lanka, but they were blown away by Sangakkara's brilliance in the second ODI. A blistering 128 off 115 balls helped Sri Lanka post 289 in their 50 overs. Angelo Mathews chipped in with an unbeaten 56 off 39 while rookie Ashan Priyanjan also added 60 off 97.
Despite efforts from Anamul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh still fell short of the target with the Sri Lankan spinners putting the mockers on the hosts. The venue remains the same for the third and final clash and with the Asia Cup to look ahead to, Bangladesh will want a confidence boost to end off the tour.
There is some hope for the Tigers given the news that Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene are all being held out of the third game, according to ESPNCricinfo.
Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim expressed his frustration at the communication struggles in his team, especially their inability to focus on instructions. He was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo:
Al-Amin [Hossain] played a shot towards the end of the first innings of the Chittagong Test, and was dropped at long-on. He had [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai at the other end telling him to not play big shots. [Shamsur Rahman] Shuvo and I were shouting at him from the dressing-room prior to that shot, but he still played the shot. Now when [Kumar] Sangakkara bats with Mendis and Lakmal, he says the same things. If someone is not willing to listen, then it is not the fault of the person telling him. It will depend on him, whether he wants to listen or not. He came back and told me that my bat automatically goes when I see a ball like that. I think we are very slow learners. We must learn as fast as possible.
For Rahim's men, hopefully some lessons have stuck over the last few months because the possibility of a win is being handed to them on a silver platter in the final game. Sri Lanka, meanwhile, will want to prove they have got the depth to dominate even without their star players.
In his role as captain and with his frustrations with the rest of the team, Mushfiqur Rahim will have to lead from the front. He's managed 27 and 79 in the last two games and will have to set the example for his teammates in order to get the get the most out of them. He's articulated his concern that players aren't listening to his words—perhaps they will follow his actions.
In the absence of their star players, it will be up to players like Angelo Mathews to perform at the top of their game. Mathews hit an unbeaten 56 in the previous game and took three wickets in the first ODI, but he is yet to put in an all-round performance in a game.
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, RubelHossain, Al-Amin Hossain, Naeem Islam, Shafiul Islam
Kushal Janith Perera, Dinesh Chandimal (w), Ashan Priyanjan, Angelo Mathews(c), Kithuruwan Vithanage, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Ajantha Mendis, Angelo Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Dhammika Prasad
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