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March 13, 2024
Buoyant Sri Lanka seeks to add dented Bangladesh to recent ODI conquests following series wins against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan

Sri Lanka Cricket

By Srian Obeyesekere

Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh face off in today’s opening day-night ODI at Chattogram with much to prove that is bound to heat up in a backdrop of frayed tempers following the Lankans comprehensive 2-1 T20 series triumph that has indeed triggered the rest of the exchanges between the two sides that will shift to the two test match exchanges with Kusal Mendis’ charges of course in a box seat 42-win head to head record to the hosts 10 with 2 no results from 54 ODI exchanges.

From a Sri Lankan perspective, Kusal Mendis, the new man in the big boots faces his biggest challenge to come good in the job entrusted following a bitter stand in world cup run of 2 wins from 13 games further dimmed by failure to qualify for the Champions Trophy, but the ODI series wins against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan since being insulated the future torchbearer, are certainly buoying factors upped by his Player of the Series batting performance in whacking the Bangladeshis in their own backyard in the T20s.

Indeed, it is the newness aura that the Lankan cricket hierarchy has adventured mainly driven by captaincy changes in all three formats that has already paid off in that short take off rubbed in by foxing the strong Bangladeshis in their own den, to further broad basing team blending in an already result oriented searching experimentation of the blending of experience and youth that has paid off by the infusion of the likes of old warrior Angelo Mathews to go with grooming youngsters like batting all-rounder Janith Liyanage that has lent to those great expectations.

Thus, comparatively while Mendis’ men do have the edge despite the fact they are bucking quite a tried and tested forceful host package, Hossain Shanto’s Bangladeshis will be looking to put behind consecutive home series defeats to minnows Afghanistan and New Zealand that has dented a compatible past record having last tasted three home ODI series defeats as far back as 2011.

The Lankan camp will be strengthened by the return from injury of the inform Pathum Nissanka fresh from his record making historic 200 in T20 cricket while as much the return from injury of the fiery pacer Lahiru Kumara adds muscle to their campaign of a strong attack also riding on the shoulders of the magical leg spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage and Dilshan Madushanka among several others to draw from.

Bangladesh’s trump card will be the skipper Shanto who is no mean performer with the bat which he demonstrated in guiding the side to victory in the second T20 while Soumya Sarkar, Hridoy and Tanzid Hasan, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim possess the depth of experience.

The bowling will mainly revolve around Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful who were the key performers in the T20Is though Mustafizur Rahman is their concern while Mehidy Hasan Miraz is the allrounder to bank on in the absence of Shakib Al Hasan.

 

SRI LANKA SQUAD:

Kusal Mendis – Captain, Charith Asalanka – Vice Captain, Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Janith Liyanage, Kamindu Mendis,Sahan Arachchige, Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Dunith Wellalage, Akila Dananjaya, Chamika Karunaratne,
Dilshan Madushanka, Pramod Madushan, Lahiru Kumara.

BANGLADESH SQUAD:

Najmul Hossain Shanto (Captain), Anamul Haque Bijoy, Soumya Sarkar, Tanzid Hasan Tamim, Litton Kumer Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tawhid Hridoy, Mahmud Ullah, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Rishad Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Tanzim Hasan Sakib, Mustafizur Rahman.

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