Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Colombo March 31, 2017

Bangladesh eye series win, SL an end to losing streak


Match Facts

April 1, 2017
Start time: 0930 local (0400GMT)

Kusal Mendis, who hit his maiden century in Dambulla, has shown signs of his desire to be a leading batsman in world cricket © AFP

Big Picture

Sri Lanka would have felt hard done by after rain ruined the second ODI, when they put up a total of 311. No team had ever won a 50-over game on the island after being set a target over 300.

But after taking Sri Lanka's last six wickets in the final five overs, Bangladesh must have thought they were in the contest. Taskin Ahmed's hat-trick would have charged them up even further and considering they had made their highest total away from home in the first ODI - 324 - things had been shaping up brilliantly before the weather intervened.

Bangladesh may be 1-0 up and eyeing a series win, but with Kusal Mendis living up to his promise and the rest of the Sri Lankan line-up batting around his maiden hundred Tuesday, the hosts would feel like they have got their menace back. Upul Tharanga made an eye-catching half-century as well, but the team management would want him to play a longer innings, while also hoping Thisara Perera's 9 in Dambulla was a one-off low score. The big-hitting allrounder made 55 off 35 balls only a week ago and another such display could help them end a six-match losing streak.

With the action moving to the SSC, and its slow and dry surfaces, Bangladesh would have an easier time putting behind their bowling performance from the last game. They can expect grip for Mustafizur Rahman's cutters and turn for Mehedi Hasan's offbreaks. So should the weather hold up well, a contest with a lot of context is on the cards.

Form guide

Sri Lanka LLLLL (completed matches, most recent first)
Bangladesh WLLLL

In the spotlight

After his Test century in Galle earlier this month, Kusal Mendis had said that he wanted to be a leading batsman in world cricket and his 107 off 107 balls in Dambulla was another reminder of this young batsman's ambition. He was very much on-side dependent but that was mostly because the Bangladesh bowlers preferred to attack his stumps. Sri Lanka would expect more runs from their No. 3, especially in a crunch situation.

He didn't get going in the first ODI but Mushfiqur Rahim had a pretty good day behind the stumps, despite missing one stumping. He held a fine running catch to dismiss Danushka Gunathilaka, helped in the Tharanga's run-out and then produced direct hits to end Dilruwan Perera and Thisara Perera's stay in the middle. All he needs no are some runs.

Mehedi Hasan and the rest of the spinners will look to extract purchase from a usually-response SSC pitch © AFP

Team news

Sri Lanka made three changes to their XI in the second ODI but while their batting clicked, the newly-formed bowling attack couldn't be tested. They are likely to remain unchanged, but there is a chance Seekkuge Prasanna will enter the XI.

Sri Lanka (possible): 1 Upul Tharanga (capt), 2 Danushka Gunathilaka, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 5 Asela Gunaratne, 6 Milinda Siriwardana, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Nuwan Kulasekara, 11 Nuwan Pradeep

Bangladesh have Imrul Kayes, Rubel Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Shuvagata Hom, Subashis Roy and newcomer Sunzamul Islam on the bench but it is unlikely that they would break their winning combination in the third ODI.

Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mosaddek Hossain, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Mehedi Hasan, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Taskin Ahmed

Pitch and conditions

An ODI hasn't been played at the SSC in six years, but in the interim, it has hosted plenty of List-A games. The average score for the team batting first those games is a remarkably low 146. Sri Lanka's cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha said he expected this particular track to be batting friendly. Chandika Hathurusingha was slightly surprised that the pitch looked underprepared even two days before the ODI. Weather in Colombo could be troublesome on match day too, with chances of a late-afternoon shower.

Stats and trivia

  • The last ODI played at the SSC was before the 2011 World Cup, while Bangladesh's last ODI here was in 2005.
  • The rained-out second ODI hurt Bangladesh more as they lost the chance to go up to No. 6 in the ICC ODI rankings. The two teams will retain their places at on the table - Sri Lanka at No. 6 and Bangladesh at No. 7 - regardless of the how the third ODI pans out.


"The seniors have responded to [the responsibility of getting a big score] really well. It comes with the belief and maturity of the players. They are really confident in their preparation now.
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  •   cricfan4044887783 on April 7, 2017, 16:49 GMT

    Coach Ford and company can't even win a single home series with Bangla, so for the sake of Sri Lanka cricket and fans please Sack the coach Ford and company and bring in Hathuru and company.....plz!

  • Manoj on April 1, 2017, 15:04 GMT

    My prediction was correct. Bangladesh suffered a dual blow at the hand of Sri Lanka today. Still, this Bangladesh team is well below the top 8 teams. Even Afghanistan could start continuously beating this team in near future if not now.

  • bikash7760488 on April 1, 2017, 4:30 GMT

    I heard Sanga is back from somebody here, I think he retired a little too early, should have stayed a little longer because he's still fit and scoring tons of runs. Being an Indian fan I don't want to see him batting against India but considering the class batsman he is I will be happy to see him back.SL needs him more then anybody else right now

  • desilv8838765 on April 1, 2017, 4:28 GMT

    Great ! Other half all rounder is also back in the team

  • Chew on April 1, 2017, 4:15 GMT

    SL Bat first... hmm another defeat it seems.. at SSC it's not easy to bat first.

  • Baundule on April 1, 2017, 4:12 GMT

    Mushfiq's one catch nd one stumping miss contributed to 127 extra runs for Sri Lanka. And you claim that Mushfiq had a good day behind the stumps? May be, by Mushy standard, not by any international keeper standard.

  • ronron4674474 on April 1, 2017, 3:57 GMT

    The momentum is with Sri Lanka having scored 300plus in the last match.Sri Lanka will most definitely win this match unless rain interferes.Pity that they lost the second match to rain which spoiled their chance to win the series.

  • amindh6043107 on April 1, 2017, 3:43 GMT

    I_am VIVA chances of a delayed start are low .Looks bright.May rain in the evening though

  • yadava5614172 on April 1, 2017, 3:42 GMT

    Heard sangakkara is back? ?.....Welcome king sanga.....The greatest test player I have seen on television. One of greatest of all time&great personality. Although a desperate move from sl if the rumours are true...but sanga could play 2 yrs at least.

  • Nimmie on April 1, 2017, 3:42 GMT

    If we are to end to losing streak, UT has to be removed 1st. We badly need 6 proper bats of Samaraweera's class, 4 [ Mathews, Chandimal, KusalM & Asela ]are already there ] remaining two places should be filled with quality youngsters of just left school or still in school. Nipun Dhananjaya 16 Ys a star at the U-15 World T'ment held in Malaysia and a leading run getter & a wkt taker in the just U-19 school t'ment and currently touring Australia with U-19 side would be a good choice. The other 5 places have to be proper wkt-taking bowlers such as Malinda Pushpakumara, Wanidu Hasaranga. if they could encouraged Ajantha to come back to Cricket whose career was ruined to make way for Herath to take over Murali's place in ODI Cricket it would do a world of good, In 2011 Ajantha's ODI AV was 21 whereas same of Herath was above the 40 mark but yet the selectors & some senior buddies of Herath preferred the left-armer

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