Hosts Bangladesh and touring West Indies will take on each other in the 3rd and final game of the three-match ODI series today Friday at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium to decide the series which is locked 1-1 after the first two matches.
Through the match which will kick off at 1pm, Sylhet International Cricket Stadium will make its debut as the ODI venue. The match will be telecast live by GTV.
After losing the 2nd match in Dhaka by four wickets, Bangladesh will face several challenges in the 3rd and final ODI. Bangladesh, which fielded four recognised opening batsmen in the first two matches of the series, did not prove as a wise decision.
World famed all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan played well at number three, which is considered to be a crucial position to bat. Despite a fifty at the position, Shakib made the number three position vulnerable.
But, the rest places of four openers from number two to five did not work properly, Imrul Kayes failed to impress at number three in spite of his golden run in the last home series against Zimbabwe where he scored two centuries in three matches and made another 90 in the other match. But after being moved from his desired opening position, Imrul has been struggling.
At the same time, Bangladesh’s move to play four openers did not reflect their attention for the World Cup preparation which is not too far.
Mohammad Mithun grabbed his second chance in the Bangladesh’s ODI line-up before being dropped in the ongoing series. He struck two crucial fifties in the Asia Cup which was enough to cement his place at number five. But the sudden formula of playing four openers prevented his progress to become a long-term solution for the position.
In all, Bangladesh team management needs to rethink their batting line-up ahead of the final ODI of the series. They might need to bring one certain change as Liton Das sustained an injury in the second match. He was stretchered off the field due to immense pain in his right leg. He was carried to the hospital for a quick scan which suggested no fracture before came into the middle to bat on later.
Mithun has a good chance to make a comeback in the place of Liton Das, who scored 41 and 8 in the first two matches respectively. Bangladesh might consider inclusion of Mohammad Saifuddin, who played superbly well in the last series.
If reshuffling batting line is the first challenge for the Tigers, adapting with the local condition of Sylhet is the second. Bangladesh played two international matches in Sylhet and lost both of them. The wicket of Sylhet is comparatively different from the other area of the country which may add more complication to select a final XI in the series decider. The fast-bowlers of both teams can hope something better for them in the wicket of Sylhet.
However, Bangladesh all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz said they are optimistic to win two successive ODI series over West Indies. He said: “The final match of the series is a do-or-die match for us and we do well in this kind of situation. We won the series in West Indies beating them in the last match. So, the final match is an opportunity for us.”
Shai Hope, the hero of West Indies win in the 2nd match, said: “We came here (Sylhet) to win the series. Now our job is to make sure the series 2-1.”
Earlier in the first match, Bangladesh took a step ahead to win the series by the superb effort of the bowlers. Mashrafe-led bowling side restricted West Indies to 195 runs, which proved to be an easy target to chase down for the hosts. Mashrafe and Mustafizur bagged three wickets each. Mushfiqur Rahim hit an unbeaten fifty to ensure a lead 1-0, winning the first match by five wickets.
But in the second match, bowlers failed to defend the total of 255 runs.
Bangladesh lost the match in the last over when West Indies needed only four runs. In the last three overs, they needed 32 runs. Mustafizur Rahman gave 16 runs in the 48th over which made Bangladesh’s escape nearly impossible. And eventually, the visiting team managed to win the match to level the series 1-1.
Shai Hope played the main role for West Indies. He struck career-best an unbeaten 146 to secure the win. In the seventh wicket stand with Keemo Paul, he added 70 runs. This stand threw Bangladesh out of the match.