Tough fight without Tamim for Bangladesh

Dhaka – “Demolished” was the word Angelo Mathews used to describe what the Sri Lanka openers did to the Bangladesh attack in the first ODI. An eight wicket victory with more than five overs to spare is difficult enough for Bangladesh to swallow, but the psychological setbacks incurred during that violent stand may take some getting over as well. The visitors now only have one day in which to launch a series-saving comeback, and with Tamim Iqbal heading home because of a finger fracture, Bangladesh’s chances of levelling the series seem slim.
The tourists’ best hope lies in dismissing Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara early and attacking Sri Lanka’s inexperienced middle order, who have not always been an assured ODI unit, particularly against spin. Kushal Perera may have been a capable walloping assistant to Dilshan in the first ODI, but he is yet to make a half century in international cricket, while Dinesh Chandimal has a poor record at home in limited overs cricket, and Angelo Mathews has not been at his best against high-quality slow bowling. Bangladesh must ensure they do not allow the seniors to walk the young Sri Lankan batsmen through their innings, like they have for much of the tour.
The hosts, will have been thrilled with the crushing first-up win, and the partnership that set it up, but there was plenty to dislike about their cricket on Saturday evening as well. The bowling was wayward, particularly at the death when Nasir Hossain led the charge, but even earlier in the innings, when Tamim made use of the dross being served up at regular intervals. Sri Lanka have in their ranks a man who at his best can deliver yorker after searing yorker, but Lasith Malinga has been wildly inconsistent over the last 14 months, and Sri Lanka have bled late runs as a result. The hosts gave up 90 runs in the last ten overs in the first match, and captain Angelo Mathews may be prudent to devise a failsafe plan, should Malinga have an indifferent outing.
Sri Lanka’s fielding has also been abysmal throughout the tour, and despite a diving catch from Kushal Janith Perera to dismiss Mohammad Ashraful, they will not have been pleased with their overall effort on Saturday. Mathews poor catching form hit rock bottom when he spilt a sitter off Tamim when he was on 55, and wayward throws and a lack of fielding initiative led to bonus runs and reprieves.
(Source: Agencies)

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