Bangladesh eye rare away glory in Sri Lanka

Mashrafe Mortaza
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza shares a light moment with teammates during a practice session at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium in Dambulla on Monday. — AFP

DAMBULLA: Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said Monday he’s confident his side can secure a rare series win away from home when they face Sri Lanka in the second One Day International this week.

The tourists lead 1-0 going into Tuesday’s contest at Dambulla and know that victory would secure their third ever series win away from Bangladeshi soil.

Bangladesh dominated Sri Lanka with bat and ball during the opening game Saturday of the three-match series to clinch a crushing 90-run win against their more illustrious opponents.

A win on Tuesday would see them take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.

“I am fully confident we will play our best. It will give us a good chance (of victory),” said Mortaza.

“They will try very hard too since they are 1-0 behind. They will try to push us from the start. They know how to play aggressive cricket. We have to execute our plans properly and start anew,” he added.

Bangladesh have only ever beaten fellow-strugglers Zimbabwe and an under strength West Indies team in an away series.

But at home they have enjoyed a fine run of form lately, winning five consecutive series in the past two years before narrowly losing to England in October.

They failed to win a single match in their most recent away series in New Zealand however, although Mortaza said his teammates had learnt from the disappointment.

“New Zealand was difficult for us but that experience will work for us here,” he said.

Sri Lanka, who are staring at a fifth consecutive ODI series loss against a Test nation, added fast bowlers Nuwan Kulasekera and Nuwan Pradeep to their squad due to fitness concerns over Suranga Lakmal.

Team manager Asanka Gurusinha said Lakmal was likely to play though and warned Bangladesh that his side were hurting from the humiliation of Saturday’s defeat.

“(The) team is really pumped up after losing the first game. We know the pressure is on us because we don’t have any more chances,” he said.

“It’s like a main final for us. We are pretty confident that we can play much better than we did,” Gurusinha added.