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Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI Preview: SL's batting woes set up clean sweep for Tigers

Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim has been in great form
Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim has been in great form

Despite Bangladesh being far from their best, Sri Lanka have been beaten comprehensively in the first two ODIs.

Live Scores and Stats - Bangladesh v Sri Lanka 3rd ODI

The same game played twice

The first two ODIs have been spitting images of each other. Bangladesh have batted first in both matches and posted just about a par total of around 250. The Sri Lankan bowlers have done well to keep the Bangladesh batsmen quiet on their home turf. However, it is their batsmen who are letting them down.

Truth be told, it is not easy to score at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka, but scores of 250 are certainly chaseable, especially when you know the target from the outset and can plan your innings accordingly.

Inexperienced middle order missing Angelo Mathews

The inexperience of the Sri Lankan middle order has been exposed, which raises a question over the logic behind dropping the likes of Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal. Sri Lanka could certainly have done with their nous at this moment.

Mathews in particular has been one of Sri Lanka's best batsmen and the decision of dropping him has certainly come into question. Mathews had been doing a fine job in international cricket before he was axed.

In fact, he was declared the Player of the Match in his second-last match against West Indies in March for his four wickets. He was one of Sri Lanka's best batsmen in the 2019 ODI World cup and boasted of a batting average of 52.50 in 2018 and 63.66 in 2017.

Mathews is 33 years old and still has a couple of years of cricket left in him. In fact, he is placed ninth in the list of Sri Lanka's highest scores of all-time in ODI cricket.

After having made his ODI debut in 2008, Mathews has played 218 matches and scored close to 6,000 runs at an average of 41.67 and a strike rate of 83.30. He has 3 centuries and 40 half centuries in his ODI career, with the best of 139 not out, to go along with his 120 wickets.

Mathews is worth his weight in gold, especially due to his experience. At the moment, the biggest thing that the visitors are lacking is cricketing smarts and the ability to control the momentum of the game.

Fearless, who?

Kusal Perera, the newly-appointed Sri Lankan captain, said before the beginning of the series that he wanted his boys to play fearless cricket. However, the first two matches of the series against Bangladesh have showcased anything but that.

One has to accept that the pitch in Dhaka is a bit two paced and isn't conducive for explosive cricket but Sri Lanka can still do with a lot more intent than they have shown in the first two matches.

Mushfiqur Rahim's consistent avatar

Mushfiqur Rahim has begun to put in frequent performances of late. But, despite Rahim's impressive 125 off 127 deliveries and Mahmudullah's 41, in the absence of contributions from Bangladesh's lower middle order, the team was bowled out for 246 in the 2nd ODI and failed to bat out their quota of 50 overs. Mohammad Saifuddin's concussion substitute Taskin Ahmed kept it tight with the ball and gave away only 27 runs from his 8 overs.

Dushmantha Chameera and Lakshan Sandakan picked up three wickets each for Sri Lanka while Isuru Udana bagged two.

Sri Lanka must go all out

In reply, no Sri Lankan batsmen could score in excess of 24. This is when each of their top 7 batsmen got into double digits.

Due to a rain interruption, the match had to be curtailed to 40 overs. When Sri Lanka came out to bat after the rain stoppage, they needed 119 runs from two overs which was ridiculous but the team had only themselves to blame.

Sri Lanka ultimately lost by 103 runs via the DLS method with centurion Mushfiqur Rahim receiving the Player of the Match award.

There is not a lot of hope for Sri Lanka in the last match of the series. The only thing that can go in their favour is that with them having already lost the series, the team has nothing to lose and can go all out.

Let's have a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:

- Tamim Iqbal (c), Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mosaddek Hossain, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam

Sri Lanka - Kusal Perera (c & wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Ashen Bandara, Wanindu Hasaranga, Isuru Udana, Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera 

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