About the Match
Rain played spoilsport in the second ODI at Dambulla and robbed Sri Lanka of the chance to equalize the series. Now, with 1-0 up and only one match to play, Bangladesh cannot lose this series and in fact, have an excellent chance of winning it. Can Sri Lanka lift up their game to end the series on an even footing?
3rd ODI Preview
Both the sides would have been disappointed at not having an opportunity to play out the entire second ODI. Sri Lanka had 311 on the board, more than has ever been chased down in their country, but Bangladesh has a strong batting line-up that made 324 with ease in the previous match.
A win would have meant that Bangladesh registers their first ever win in a bilateral series against Sri Lanka.
Going into this third match, the pressure will be on Sri Lanka and that can cause the side to make some uncharacteristic mistakes. We do not think the Sri Lankan side will make any changes to the side that played the last match.
Gunathilaka and Tharanga got the side off to a good start before Kusal Mendis overcame some initial scratchiness to make his maiden ODI hundred. The lower order, particularly Gunaratne also contributed well before a clutch of wickets in the last few over shed back the Sri Lankans somewhat.
We would back the experienced Tharanga to make another fifty plus score in this match while backing Dinesh Chandimal to be the top scorer for Sri Lanka this time around. The Sri Lankan batting order is definitely filled with talent across the board but they need a couple of the old hands to help the inexperienced batsmen out in building an innings.
If Tharanga, Mendis, and Chandimal fall early, then the others might collapse in a heal around them.
Sri Lanka also opted to go with Pradeep, Lakmal, Kulasekara and the all-rounder Thisara Perera as the four bowling options with the part-timers to try and make up the remaining ten overs. This is a strategy fraught with danger and could mean that Bangladesh has 20 overs of bowling in which to attack and take full toll.
Kulasekara is impressive with the new ball and could take some wickets but we would back Lakmal to be the highest wicket taker for Sri Lanka once again.
Bangladesh would have been happy with the way they came back into the last match and particularly with the bowling form of Taskin Ahmed. Mustafizur Rahman went for some runs, uncharacteristically, but therein lies the opportunity for him to take some wickets.
Rahman continues to be our pick to be the highest wicket taker. We also think that Mehedi Hasan will have a much larger role to play in Colombo, where the pitch can favor the spinners.
The Bangladeshi batting has some excellent players throughout the lineup but we are most impressed with Sabbir Rahman on this trip. He has been exemplary in stroke play and consistency and would be our pick to be the top scorer for Bangladesh.
Tamim Iqbal and Shakib-al Hasan also have major roles to play, particularly in this clutch match and the impact of Mushfiqur, Mahmudallah and Mosaddek Hossain cannot be underestimated either. Player to player, we think Bangladesh has a lot more firepower than Sri Lanka, especially in Asian conditions.
Pitch and Conditions
Batting first seems to be the way to go in this series and that is probably what both the teams will look to do.
The third ODI will be played at the SCC in Colombo. There has been no ODI played at the SCC since February of 2011, just over 6 years ago, although there have been test matches played consistently every year.
The pitch will be expected to be flat and good for batting. The appearance of dew during the second inning could neutralize the spinners and actually help the side chasing.
Bangladesh To Win
Winner: Bangladesh, 2.2 @ Bet on Bangladesh now