Following the washout at Dambulla, Bangladesh have secured at least their maiden drawn One-Day International (ODI) series from Sri Lanka. Knowing the attitude of this enthusiastic team led by Mashrafe Mortaza, I can tell you, they will not be satisfied with a drawn series, especially after the commanding performance in the first ODI. They will go for gold in the third and final game, to be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) ground at Colombo on next Saturday.
However, to do that, Bangladesh need to raise their game, especially after the pathetic display with the ball and on the field on Tuesday.
Despite the heroics of Taskin Ahmed (becoming the fifth Bangladeshi bowler to claim an ODI hat-trick), the visitors had a poor day at the office. Losing the toss and inserted in the field on a flat track, the Bangladeshi bowlers failed to tame the Sri Lankan batting, like they did in the first game.
Clearly, Bangladesh bowling in this game looked flat. Pacers bowled both sides of the wicket and got punished. At times they were too full and the likes of Kusal Mendis, Upul Tharanga and other Sri Lankan batsmen driven those loose balls comfortably. Even Bangladesh’s prime weapon, Mustafizur Rahman did not complete his quota and gave away 60 runs in eight overs.
When pacers are failing to control the run flow, it is the duty of the spinners to get a grip on the match. But their spin duo of Shakib Al Hasan (0/59 in 10 overs) and Mehedi Hasan Miraz (50 for 1 in 10 overs) did not have the impact like the last match. The three overs of back-up spinner Mosaddek Hossain produced 26 runs. The centurion Mendis, hit them all over the park.
— বাংলার ছেলে 🇧🇩 (@iSoumikSaheb) March 28, 2017
Overall, there was lack of discipline as well and it was reflected from the 22 extras which the Bangladesh bowlers gave away in the match.
Sri Lanka’s score of 311 on that wicket looked quite challenging, especially keeping in mind that a 300-plus score is yet to be chased down in ODIs played in this country. Thus, despite knowing their batting firepower, one can say rain came as a blessing in disguise for Bangladesh.
At SSC, once again Sri Lankan batting will come out all guns blazing. They might also recall the attacking Kusal Perera, who missed the first two games due to injury. He will add to the firepower of the hosts’ batting line-up.
The ODI will be a day encounter and the SSC wicket generally helps the seamers in the morning. The team, which will win the toss, might look to bowl first to get the advantage of the early morning dampness of the wicket.
Overall, the ODI series is heading towards an exciting finish and the team which will implement their game plan on the field properly will have the last laugh.