8th Match, Super Four (D/N), Colombo (RPS), September 09, 2023, Asia Cup
(48.1/50 ov, T:258) 236

Sri Lanka won by 21 runs

Player Of The Match
93 (72)

'Hot-and-cold' Bangladesh seek consistency as Sri Lanka chase milestone win

Sri Lanka are one victory away from the second-longest winning streak in ODIs

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam

Big picture - Sri Lanka in sight of 13th successive win

Sri Lanka are one win away from ODI eminence. If they beat Bangladesh in their Asia Cup Super Four game on Saturday, they will become the team with the second-longest winning streak in the format. Only the Australians of 2003 achieved a longer streak (21), while Sri Lanka are currently tied with Pakistan (12 wins in 2007-08) and South Africa (12 wins in 2005, and again in 2016-17).
As is bound to be the case in such situations, Sri Lanka have found the fight in tricky situations. And, despite all the talk about Afghanistan's valiant fight in their group-stage game, Sri Lanka were more aware of the game situation, and the playing conditions, and that proved to be clincher.
That awareness is something that sometimes goes AWOL with Bangladesh. They were outplayed by Sri Lanka following a lacklustre effort early on in the tournament. They bounced back to beat Afghanistan so impressively that they didn't have to worry about net run rate for qualification to the Super Four stage. But then Pakistan totally outplayed them on Wednesday.
Shakib Al Hasan called the batting "hot and cold", which is a cause for concern. As is the lack of awareness. Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim rebuilt Bangladesh's batting from 47 for 4, but got out to poor shots. What should also worry Bangladesh is the speed with which their lower order collapsed, not for the first time.
Sri Lanka don't have these worries at the moment. Dimuth Karunaratne is having his best ODI year with 514 runs at an average of 51.40, but what has really helped the team is his strong opening combination with Pathum Nissanka. They have totalled 812 runs together since June, in 11 innings.
Bangladesh need a hot day here; they have had one, but have also had two cold days. And being the team to stop Sri Lanka's run will be a huge boost.

Form guide

Bangladesh LWLWL(last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
Sri Lanka WWWWW

In the spotlight - Dasun Shanaka and Mushfiqur Rahim

Dasun Shanaka is going through a strange 2023. While leading Sri Lanka to 12 wins in a row, he has averaged 7.71 in eight innings. Granted he bats down the order, but in the six months before the winning run started, Shanaka's 169 runs at 33.80 was actually Sri Lanka's second-best in that period behind Pathum Nissanka.
Mushfiqur Rahim's strong form in 2023 is a bounce back after an under-par average of 23 last year. He apparently almost lost his place in the team but a move to No. 6 has helped, as he has taken on the finisher's role. Mushfiqur has averaged 57.25 in scoring 458 runs in his last ten innings, including Bangladesh's fastest ODI century.

Team news

Bangladesh may not change their personnel, but are likely to shuffle their batting line-up, starting with Litton Das moving to open with Mohammad Naim. Mehidy Hasan Miraz could be sent to No. 8 to give the other specialist batters more time and responsibility.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Litton Das, 3 Afif Hossain, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Towhid Hridoy, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Shamim Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Hasan Mahmud
Sri Lanka will be expected to continue with the same XI that beat Afghanistan in their last group game. They have Kusal Perera, Dushan Hemantha, Binura Fernando and Pramod Madushan on the bench.
Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Dhananjaya de Silva, 7 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 8 Dunith Wellalage, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Matheesha Pathirana

Pitch and conditions

The R Premadasa Stadium usually has slower and lower pitches than Pallekele. But in the last five years, the 267 at Premadasa is a higher average first-innings score in day-night ODIs than Pallekele's 255. The forecast, worryingly, suggests that there is more than a 68% chance of rain through the day (at the time of writing this).

Stats and trivia

  • Sri Lanka's fast bowlers have been more dominant than their spinners against Bangladesh, with 41 wickets at 22.58 compared to 26 wickets at 30.50 in ODIs in the last five years.
  • Mehidy is one of three players to score 500 runs and take 40 wickets across formats in the last 12 months. Shakib is one of the other two.
  • Kusal Mendis is now the fifth-fastest Sri Lanka batter to reach 3000 runs in ODIs, behind Marvan Atapattu, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera and Mahela Jayawardene.


"Where Matheesha releases the ball is very different from others. It's something that many cricket teams cannot prepare for. That in itself is an advantage because you don't get to practice against that kind of bowler much. Malinga was very successful, and I think Matheesha has a big future. His cricket knowledge will increase because of him playing IPL."
Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe on the Sri Lankan slinger Matheesha Pathirana

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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