Tigers look to cure end-game illsStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh will look for some luck to end their finishing misery when they take on Sri Lanka in the second one-day international in Dhaka today.
The Tigers were still searching for answers as to what had prompted them to drop so many catches off one batsman, who then single-handedly took the first match out of their grip and condemned them to a heartbreaking 13-run defeat.
Thisara Perera made full use of Bangladesh’s sloppy fielding to help Sri Lanka post 180, recovering from 67-8. Despite his 54-ball 80 not out, the match was in Bangladesh’s hands, but the middle-order batsmen floundered at a crucial stage and threw the game away.
The result came against the backdrop of two last-ball defeats in the preceding Twenty20 series, which provided a grim picture of Bangladesh’s mental strength ahead of some much bigger contests.
Bangladesh want a quick solution to the problem before they play the Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20.
The return of Mashrafee bin Murtaza to the line-up could be boost for them in today’s match, which is a must-win contest for them if they are to stay alive in the three-match series.
Mashrafee missed the first match after an injury during the warm-up session. He returned to training on Wednesday and bowled with full pace, indicating that he has regained fitness.
Tamim Iqbal, another star performer who missed the first match with a stiff neck, is however unlikely to play today as he skipped the training.
Tamim’s injury means there will be no change in the Tigers’ top-order, though they still have a selection dilemma in the middle-order. Mahmudullah remains low on confidence, which has sometimes affected the other cricketers as well.
Chances are high that Naeem Islam will replace him in the batting line-up. Naeem scored a team-high 163 runs in Bangladesh’s 3-0 ODI success against New Zealand and also showed some good form in recent first-class competition.
However, in a series where Bangladesh has yet to field the same line-up in two consecutive matches, it remains to be seen if his inclusion can solve the Tigers’ finishing woes.
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