Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Asia Cup, Dambulla June 17, 2010

Bangladesh seek to change the pattern

Match Facts

Friday, June 18, 2010
Start time 1430 (0900 GMT)

The Big Picture

Don't say it aloud. Just whisper. You don't want to scare a Bangladesh fan. What if Tamim Iqbal's form runs out? Or worse what if he is dragged down by the mediocrity that surrounds him? It's the scariest thought for a Bangladesh fan. They are used to unanswerable questions though. Sample these: How long will Mohammad Ashraful continue to waste his opportunities? How long will Bangladesh continue to squander good starts? When will the captain Shakib Al Hasan temper his batting approach? Is Mahmudullah already taking a back step when he should have built on his strengths that he showed when India toured Bangladesh? Has Mushfiqur Rahim joined the rest in flattering to deceive?

Shakib knows where the problem lies: "We played well as individuals but not as a team... put team performances together, only then can we win some games." Is it a matter of skill? Is it a matter of passion? On their best day, Bangladeshi players seem to posses both in ample measure: they can stun and woo you with their brand of play but their their best days don't come often enough. Or is it a matter of blind expectations? Should we accept their mediocrity as a fact and move on? Surely not. Take that first game against India. 81 for 1 to 167 all out. Surely, Shakib, Rahim, Mahmudulah, Ashraful, and Naeem Islam can do better than that? Of course if it was just one bad day, there wouldn't be any problem but this is the pattern now. You can almost hear the dirge once the openers fall. Will they stop the rot and begin the change against Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka seems to have just one problem: Chamara Kapugedera. An average of 21.66 from 74 games reeks of underperformance. The beauty is that no one in the Sri Lankan cricketing fraternity doubts his talent. That six against Brett Lee, and that six off the last ball against India in the World Twenty20 will be mentioned but the fact of the matter is that many new players are gunning for his spot. It was Thillina Kandamby for a while but he too couldn't hold his spot. However the young Dinesh Chandimal has already done what Kapugedera couldn't: get an ODI ton. This Asia Cup might be the last great chance for Kapugedera.

Form guide (most recent first)

Bangladesh LLLLL
Sri Lanka WWLWW

Watch out for...

Mushfiqur Rahim is the pluckiest cricketer in Bangladesh. Tamim has the more audacious talent, Shakib the captaincy, Mashrafe the aura but it's young, diminutive and talkative Rahim that is the life and soul of the team. He is not entirely dissimilar to Tatendu Taibu and has the skill to be a pretty handy no. 4 batsman. Will he make that spot his own?

Farveez Maharoof bowled just couple of bad deliveries against Pakistan. Both came in his first over. He very quickly learnt that short of length was the region to bowl and did exactly that. On these pitches he should be a pretty handy bowler. With a short cover and short midwicket prowling, he can force a batsman to drive early. He is the bowler in this current line-up that the opposition are most likely to attack, and he has the ability to make them pay for the arrogance.

Team news

Despite the meek showing against India, Bangladesh are unlikely to change their eleven going into their second game. Sri Lanka ticked in perfect harmony against Pakistan and could look to retain their combination. Kandamby will hope to get a chance at the expense of Thilan Samaraweera or Kapugedera.

Bangladesh (possible) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Naeem Islam, 8 Shafiul Islam, 9 Rubel Hossain, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza, 11 Syed Rasel

Sri Lanka (possible) 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (capt/wk), 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Thilan Samaraweera, 7 Chamara Kapugedera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Farveez Maharoof, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan.

Stats and trivia

  • Sri Lanka have won 26 of their 28 games against Bangladesh. The two losses came in Bangladesh. Furthermore, Sri Lanka have won 18 of their 25 games at Dambulla.

  • Bangladesh's best batsman Tamim Iqbal averages just 19 .80 from 10 games against Sri Lanka. The strike rate is also poor at 63.50 and he has just hit one fifty.


    "In the first 10 overs we played really well, but it needs to be continued with our middle order batsmen."
    Shakib Al Hasan points out where they lost the first game.

    Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo