Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:06
Two days before the second ODI, Sri Lanka’s new coach Paul Farbrace said Thisara Perera would not have to rescue the team again in the near future. In one short sentence, Farbrace backed his batting line-up, which had slipped to 67 for 8 in the first ODI.
Bangladesh can be sure too that Sri Lanka will not give them two golden opportunities in the same game again. Once Mushfiqur Rahim did not prevent the visitors’ recovery, Perera and Sachithra Senanayake helped Sri Lanka reach 180. Bangladesh, however, were 114 for 2 inside 20 overs to the delight of the crowd, but lost eight wickets for 53 runs. Clumsy running and poor shot selection made them go 0-1 down in the series.
“I don’t think Bangladesh lack belief. It is just about winning a close game. It is amazing how your team flies from there. They will be off and running from there,” Sri Lanka coach Paul Farbrace. Bangladesh will want senior players like Mushfiqur and Shakib Al Hasan to take more batting responsibility, particularly if Tamim Iqbal continues to remain sidelined with a neck strain. The top half of Sri Lanka’s order also has much work to do to find form ahead of the Asia Cup.
Shamsur Rahman impressed during his 62 in the first ODI. He played an array of back-foot shots - square drives, square cuts, an upper cut and a swivel pull - to score his second fifty. His needless run-out, however, started the Bangladesh collapse so there should a little more care to his innings in the second game. Angelo Mathews called the first ODI victory a dream come true. He didn’t bat like a dream but claimed three wickets with his medium pace. He was steady, and ensured Sri Lanka remained disciplined with the ball and in the field. Mathews will be expected to make more all-round contributions.
Overnight rain and overcast conditions spiced up the Mirpur pitch a little, but it has been dry and sunny in the region since the first ODI. The surface is likely to be slow and low.
Victory in Mirpur will complete Sri Lanka’s set of trophies in all formats on this tour; Bangladesh will be desperate to keep their only chance of silverware alive. (cricinfo)