Colombo, March 31 (IANS) Bangladesh will be eyeing their first away series win when they take on Sri Lanka in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) cricket match at the Sinhalese Sports Club here on Saturday.
It all fell in place for Bangladesh in the first ODI and the series could have looked very different if rain hadn't intervened midway through the second game, according to an International Cricket Council (ICC) release
Sri Lanka, after opting to bat first, put up 311 riding on Kusal Mendis's 102 and an innings of 65 from the stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga.
No team has ever won chasing a 300-plus target here in an ODI, and the home side would have backed its chances of pulling off a series-levelling win there.
Unfortunately, that wasn't to be. And the rain also meant that Sri Lanka's revamped bowling attack, with Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep and Dilruwan Perera -- all in the mix after being drafted in following the loss in the first game -- couldn't be tested.
But, equally, Bangladesh would have felt that the momentum had shifted its way towards the end of the Sri Lanka innings.
Sri Lanka were coasting at 271/4 in the 46th over with Milinda Siriwardana and Asela Gunaratne in the middle and a score closer to 330 on their minds when the wickets started falling and the hosts were bowled out in 49.5 overs.
Taskin Ahmed architectured the collapse, claiming a last over hat-trick to finish with 4 for 47.
Coupled with their success in the Test series, which ended 1-1, and the first ODI, there is reason for Bangladesh to feel they have the edge in the decider.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (captain), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal (wicketkeeper), Danushka Gunathilaka, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Vikum Sanjaya, Thisara Perera, Sachith Pathirana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Nuwan Pradeep, Dilruwan Perera.
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy, Sanjamul Islam, Shuvagata Hom, Nurul Hasan, Mehedi Hasan.