Bangladesh will look to end their jinx in Sylhet when they take on West Indies in the third and final one-day international of the three-match series in the city today.
The Tigers have played two matches – a Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka and a Test against Zimbabwe – so far at this picturesque ground in northeast divisional city but lost both.
The Sylhet International Cricket Stadium will be baptised to ODI cricket today and its debut has now turned out to be a crucial encounter for the home side as they now face the risk of becoming the first team to lose a series to West Indies in four years.
Bangladesh were also at the receiving end when West Indies last won an ODI series in 2014.
The Tigers had the chance to make it a dead rubber in the second match in Dhaka, but a casual batting by lower-order batsmen and sloppy fielding cost them the game.
The game, which could also be the last ODI match at home for long-standing skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza, now offered Bangladesh to make an amend for the mistakes and retain the series after beating West Indies 2-1 away in July.
Mashrafee was looking to erase their past memories in Sylhet by winning the series against West Indies.
‘There is no point thinking about the past because tomorrow [today] is a new day and a new match,’ he said in the pre-match press-conference. ‘Not that everything is lost yet. We must play positively because West Indies will try to play their best cricket so we must play our best cricket.’
Bangladesh have a selection issue in the game as their decision of going with four top-order batsmen in the previous two matches did not work, prompting the team-management to think for a change.
Mashrafee admitted the plan and suggested that Soumya Sarkar to bat in top-order. With Tamim Iqbal’s slot guaranteed as an opener Imrul or Liton Das could make the way for him.
Imrul has made just four runs in the series but can still play the game provided Liton is deemed unfit.
West Indies are confident they can spoil the party.
‘West Indies haven’t won an ODI series for quite some time. This is a grand opportunity to change it. The guys are upbeat and confident of doing it tomorrow [today],’ said skipper Rovman Powell.
The match is scheduled to start at 12:00pm and will be telecast live at BTV, GTV and Channel 9.
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