HAMBANTOTA: Bangladesh will seek inspiration from their Asia Cup victory over Sri Lanka when they open a three-match One-Day International (ODI) series in Hambantota today.
Mushfiqur Rahim’s Tgers proved they were capable of surprising the big teams in the shorter format of the game when they beat World Cup finalists India and Sri Lanka on their way to the Asia Cup final in Dhaka last year.
Bangladesh, who registered their third ODI win over Sri Lanka in 30 matches, produced more encouraging results at home last year, including a series victory over the West Indies.
The tourists also gave a good account of themselves in the opening Test against Sri Lanka in Galle before losing the second and final match in Colombo.
“The way we played the first Test we can take a lot of positives from that match,” said Rahim.
“In the second Test, we bowled them out in one innings and that is quite a positive sign. We have been really playing well over the last one-and-a-half years.”
Bangladesh’s batting has been bolstered with the return of Mohammad Ashraful, who played his last ODI in October 2011. He looked in good touch in the recent Tests, scoring 190 in the opening match.
Mathews hoping to complete double
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka all-rounder Angelo Mathews will be keen to complete a double as captain after leading his side to victory in the Test series.
“It was important to win the series,” said the Sri Lankan skipper. “We were under pressure to win and I think we played some really good cricket.”
Sri Lanka have also done well in recent ODIs, winning a five-match series at home against New Zealand in November and then drawing a tough series 2-2 in Australia in January.
The second match will also be played in Hambantota on Monday, before the final encounter in Pallekele on March 28.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 23rd, 2013.