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HomeBangladeshTri-Series Final Preview: Can Bangladesh fight back after 82 all out?

Tri-Series Final Preview: Can Bangladesh fight back after 82 all out?

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

A week ago, the Tri-Series involving Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe looked like it was only going one way – Bangladesh. With three bonus point wins, including a 163-run win against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh were cruising until Thursday, where they were embarrassing, bowled out for 82.

For the most part of this competition, Bangladesh, as expected, have been impressive in home conditions. As a bowling unit, led by Shakib, Mashrafe and Mustafizur, Bangladesh have been brilliant, conceding just 170, 157 and 125 in their three bonus point wins. On the batting front, Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan have been the two key players, scoring five half centuries between them. However, their middle order batting has been a huge concern – they got away with poor batting against Zimbabwe a few days ago, but when Tamim and Shakib were out early in the last game v Sri Lanka, they crumbled in a heap.
With so many questions about the batting, it remains to be seen whether Bangladesh make changes. Anamul Haque has been disappointing on his return, and Sabbir Rahman continues to frustrate us all and not live up to his potential. Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah haven’t been at their best either, and Nasir Hossain has fallen away. Bangladesh will be desperate for these players to contribute, and ease the pressure on Tamim and Shakib. 
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have roared back into this tournament. Ahead of the final group stage ODI against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka were at risk of missing the final, which would have been one of their lowest points in recent memory. Led by Suranga Lakmal, the Sri Lankans delivered a short ball barrage to Bangladesh’s batsmen, and the spinners followed up to flatten Bangladesh for just 82.
This win not only got Sri Lanka into the final, but it has perhaps also delivered a psychological blow to Bangladesh. How will Bangladesh bounce back after such a performance? Will the middle order perform? Was it just a bad day? Can Sri Lanka repeat their effort? 
It promises to be a very interesting final.

Key to a Bangladesh win

Bangladesh were dominant for the most part in the tournament, but plenty of questions are rightly being directed at their batsmen.
The last game was the perfect opportunity for the middle order to show its worth. When Bangladesh were 25/3, I said to myself that this is the best thing that can happen for them, as it will give the middle order the test they need after a sub-par showing v Zimbabwe two days earlier. However, Mahmudullah and especially Sabbir gave their wickets away, and the concerns about the middle order

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 has grown further.

To win the final, Bangladesh can’t just rely on Tamim and Shakib. The bowlers have shown that they are difficult to handle in these conditions, so the onus is on the batsmen to deliver.

Key to a Sri Lanka win

Thisara Perera has been Sri Lanka’s best player so far in the tournament, but he received great support from the bowlers in their thrashing of Bangladesh.
If Sri Lanka can dismiss Shakib and Tamim cheaply, that will go a very long way to lifting the trophy. The key will be to expose Bangladesh’s struggling middle order, and continue to be aggressive. Sri Lanka went in with a positive mentality in the last game, and the same must be repeated.

Predicted teams:

A massive conundrum now faces Bangladesh. After being dominant over the first three games, I can’t even predict whether they will stick with the same team, or make changes. Anamul, Sabbir and Nasir have been very disappointing, and have not offered the quality that their talent suggests they should. I see Nasir Hossain (I’d be happy if it were Sabbir after his terrible shot last game) being dropped for pace bowling all-rounder Saifuddin to give Bangladesh a boost in the lower order. If Bangladesh do go with Saifuddin, it might push Abul Hasan out to give Bangladesh another spin option in Sunzamul, who also batted really well in his last game v Zimbabwe.
Something Bangladesh might also need to consider after the tournament is whether Shakib Al Hasan should go back to no.5 to help the team, even though he has done really well at number three this series.
Bangladesh XI: 1. Tamim Iqbal, 2. Anamul Haque, 3. Shakib Al Hasan, 4. Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5. Mahmudullah, 6. Sabbir Rahman, 7. Saifuddin, 8. Sunzamul Islam, 9. Mashrafe Mortaza (c), 10. Mustafizur Rahman, 11. Rubel Hossain
For Sri Lanka, why change? Incredibly, they are now the team with the momentum coming into the final. They should play the same team, and will hope their bowlers do something similar to the previous game.
However, if Bangladesh can get their batting right, much will be expected of Sri Lanka’s top order, which hasn’t been too convincing throughout the tournament.
Sri Lanka XI: 1. Danushka Gunathilaka, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3. Kusal Mendis, 4. Dinesh Chandimal (c), 5. Asela Gunaratne, 6. Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 7. Thisara Perera, 8. Suranga Lakmal, 9. Lakshan Sandakan, 10. Akila Dananjaya, 11. Dushmantha Chameera

Stats and Facts:

  • In the last Tri-Series Final between these two teams in 2009, Sri Lanka won by 2 wickets, chasing down Bangladesh’s 152 after being 6/5.
  • Since being 147/2 in their second last match against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh have lost 17 wickets for 151 runs. Their previous 11 wickets in the tournament yielded 637 runs.
  • Sri Lanka have now won two ODIs in a row, after a losing streak of four matches.
  • Tamim and Shakib have contributed 412 runs out of Bangladesh’s 788 this tournament (52.28%).
  • In the two matches between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka this tournament, Bangladesh achieved their biggest ever win (163 runs), and Sri Lanka their fifth biggest ever win in terms of balls remaining (229).

Prediction:

A week ago, it would have been easy to predict Bangladesh, but with Bangladesh’s middle order struggling and Sri Lanka delivering a huge win, the tables look to have turned a little.
However, I still think Bangladesh are the better ODI team at the moment, and will be focused more after perhaps having one eye on the final on Thursday. I expect Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah to play bigger roles in this game, and help the likes of Tamim and Shakib. I predict Bangladesh to win in a tight game.
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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