As Lasith Malinga colored his own farewell party at Colombo, the Bangladesh camp was filled with gloom. Bangladesh, after a below-par World Cup , hoped to pull things back with a victory. But they couldn’t, as Sri Lanka continued on their relative good form since the World Cup.
Bangladesh lost the match in all three departments, and the worst thing is, it didn’t look like from the beginning that the Tigers could clinch victory. Fielding was absolutely disastrous, catches were dropped, runs were leaked. The bowlers might have pulled it back in the last 20 overs, but the first 30 had already brought home a defeat. And some poor batting and a brilliant Malinga took away the measly chances Bangladesh, when the team was 39-4 within 12 overs. Bangladesh need a lot of improvement from their last game to win the second match and be in the series. They must improve their fielding standards and batting should be easier considering the absence of Malinga. But what Bangladesh really need is more bite in their bowling as they have been lacking it for quite some time, and with the absence of Shakib, Mashrafe and Saifuddin, this remains a big test for the team. Taskin Ahmed might be someone who can bring in genuine pace and cause some discomfort among the batsmen, but after Shafiul islam being the least disappointing bowler in the first match, his selection remains in smoke. Bangladesh also need a fifth bowler, albeit Soumya Sarkar and Mosaddek Hossain has showed that they are capable of doing something with the ball. Soumya Sarkar obviously needs to lift himself with the bat, and so does captain Tamim Iqbal. He has been under the cosh for his off-form, and his poor captaincy in the first match only added to that. The only positive Bangladesh can take from the agem was Sabbir Rahman’s fifty, even though he got out in a poor fashion when his team needed him the most.
Sri Lanka are over the moon at this moment. They have given Malinga a perfect farewell and they are ready for life without Malinga in a very good mood. Kushal Perera’s destructive hundred was what put Sri Lanka in the driving seat, and Sri Lanka will be hoping for him to continue the prime touch. Bowlers Nuwan Pradeep and Lahiru Kumara too excelled in the first match, whereas Dhananjaya de Silva showed his day-by-day improvement as a spinner. The whole team looks in fine touch, and the Lankans would hope they continue on their merryway.
Bangladesh might look to bring a couple of changes after Mosaddek Hossain and Rubel Hossain’s dismal performances in the first match. Farhad Reza might get a call up in his place, whereas Taskin Ahmed stays a possibility.
Possible Lineup - 1. Tamim Iqbal ©, 2. Soumya Sarkar, 3. Mohammad Mithun, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5. Mahmudullah Riyad, 6. Sabbir Rahman, 7. Farhad Reza/Mosaddek Hossain, 8. Mehidy Hasan, 9. Shafiul Islam, 10. Taskin Ahmed, 11. Mustafizur Rahman
Sri Lanka will have to bring a change to replace Lasith Malinga, but any other changes to the team looks improbable.
Possible Lineup - 1. Dimuth Karunaratne (c), 2. Kusal Perera (wk), 3. Avishka Fernando, 4. Kusal Mendis, 5. Angelo Mathews, 6. Lahiru Thirimanne, 7. Thisara Perera, 8. Dhananjaya de Silva, 9. Isuru Udana, 10. Lahiru Kumara, 11. Kasun Rajitha
Pitch and Conditions
As the monsoon season goes on, rain stays a probability. Otherwise, it should be a great track to bat first and put up a big total.