DHAKA: Sri Lanka will be without the veteran trio of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumara Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan as they target a clean sweep in Bangladesh by winning the third and final ODI in Mirpur on Saturday (today). The first instance since 1999 when not one of Jayawardene, Sangakkara and Dilshan will be in the Lankan eleven gives Bangladesh a chance to redeem themselves with a win going into the Asia Cup beginning February 25 in Bangladesh itself.
Sri Lanka won the ODI series, after winning the Test and T20 series, by beating the hosts with a margin of 61 runs in the second ODI. But Sangakkara’s absence will hurt them more than anybody else’s after the veteran left-hander’s hundred in the second ODI. Sangakkara has been rested for the game while Dilshan has been withdrawn after a finger injury, which leaves the onus on opener Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal and allrounder Angelo Mathews. Useful contributions will also be sought from Kithuruwan Vithanage and Ashan Priyanjan. Lahiru Thirimanne has joined the squad as replacement for Dilshan, who failed in the first two ODIs. That provides SL a chance to test another opener before the Asia Cup. Lasith Malinga will once again lead the pace attack with Sachithra Senanayake manning the spin department.
Bangladesh have all kinds of problems – starting with a repetitively failing top order. And whenever a batsman looked in, he failed to make it count. The hosts’ bowling too has lacked incisiveness with offspinner Sohag Gazi out of form and Mashrafe Mortaza still a doubtful starter. Another change on the cards is allrounder Mahmudullah being dropped for Naeem Islam.
Bangladesh: Shamsur Rahman, Anamul Haque (wk), Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Mahmudullah/Naeem Islam, Sohag Gazi, Arafat Sunny, Mashrafe Mortaza/Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Ashan Priyanjan, Kithuruwan Vithanage, Angelo Mathews (c), Thisara Perera, Angelo Perera, Sachitra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis.
COLOMBO: Sri Lanka gave India a scare before bad weather washed out a major part of the opening ...