The second one-day international match in the ongoing series between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka shall be played on the 25th of May, 2021 at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium of Dhaka. Sri Lanka are currently in Bangladesh for a three-match ODI series. The pandemic had severely disrupted sports events across the world and this series would mark a sincere effort to resume sports amidst the spread of the virus.
Extreme caution is being observed and players are being made to live in bio-bubbles to prevent the pandemic from reaching the players. However, despite that, three members of the Sri Lankan team have contracted the virus. On the other hand, both the teams are raring to go and improve their rankings. This series is a part of the ODI super league which entails gaining qualifying points for the World Cup. Neither Bangladesh nor Sri Lanka are placed well in the rankings table, with the latter having negative points.
Therefore, the series is bound to seem some tough competition. Bangladesh has won the first match by 33 runs on the 23rd of May, and let us have a look at what this match has to offer.
Bangladesh is known for having slow pitches, like every other South Asian country. The Sher-e-Bangla pitch is known for favouring the spinners and thus batters might have to sweat it out to get their runs. This has been evident from the first match itself which has been held in the same auditorium. The home team Bangladesh batting first, could only score 257 runs. While the average score at the venue is touted to be low, teams batting second are known to win here. The first match however suggested otherwise. Bangladesh batted first and successfully defended their score. The two teams are placed not too far away from each other in the rankings table. Bangladesh occupies the seventh spot in the ICC Men’s ODI team rankings while Sri Lanka is ranked ninth.
One of the most striking news that has emerged about the squads is about several members of the Sri Lankan troupe contracting the virus. Two players and a coach had tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. They were immediately isolated. Another test that was conducted later revealed that two were negative and one was positive. Players, including Virat Kohli, have often complained about the bio-bubbles stating how they are prevented from interacting and spending time together; which makes it quite stressful. In fact, Indian wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, who had contracted covid-19 during the Indian Premier League has even questioned the effectiveness of bio-bubbles. However, this is the standard operating procedure now and administrative bodies are sticking to it. Both the governing bodies of the two teams have decided to go ahead with the series.
Both the teams boast of brilliant players. Neither of the two teams have had a good series before the match. Bangladesh had a bad series against New Zealand and Sri Lanka could not perform well against the West Indies. Bangladeshi skipper Tamim Iqbal had been in good form during the New Zealand series and has extended his good run in this series as well. He scored a half-century in the first match.
In the first ODI; Mushfiqur Rahim has played quite well and has scored 87 off 84. Mahmudullah also seems to be in good shape and has scored a half-century. Shakib Al Hasan, who has returned to the number three spot of the team should also be watched out for. Bowler Mehidy Hassan, who has taken 4 wickets for 30 runs also seems to be in good form. Sri Lanka also has good players in batsman Danushka Gunathilaka and bowler Wanindu Hasaranga. Hasaranga who has scored 74 in the first match also seems to be in good shape.
Probable Playing XIs
Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera (c) (w), Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka; Niroshen Dickwella, Dasun Shanaka, Ashen Bandara, Wanindu Hasaranga; Lakshan Sandakan, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal (c), Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (w); Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mahedi Hasan; Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
With two matches left; both the teams would be looking to further their ODI points. Both are good teams with capable players. This is one of the few series that is continuing amidst the pandemic and is surely providing relief to a lot of cricket fans. Let us hope for some good cricket in this match from both teams.