Knew Bangladesh would struggle without Shakib: Karunaratne

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne wants to clean sweep Bangladesh by winning the third and the last ODI at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

At this moment I feel sad for Shakib only: Mashrafe
Bangladesh have struggled in all departments without their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and even the Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karuratne felt that the visitors will struggle without him in this series.

Ahead of the third and the last ODI, Karunaratne said in the press conference:

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“The main thing was Shakib [Al Hasan], he played a huge role. I think that’s why we felt that without Shakib they may struggle a little to balance the side. I think we also lifted our game after the World Cup. We have been playing as a team, with high confidence, and I think that’s why we have done so well.”

“If you take the World Cup Bangladesh did really well because of Shakib and Mushfiqur, those are the two batsmen that carried them through. They batted really well and kept scoring big runs, and the team was, as a result, scoring 250 and 300-plus. Once Shakib isn’t there, they have to fill that hole in both the bowling and batting, I can’t see anyone who can replace him,” he added.

The Sri Lankan captain also felt the bowlers did really well despite the departure of their main man Lasith Malinga.

“In the last match without Malinga, I think Nuwan [Pradeep], Lahiru Kumara and all the guys, they bowled really well. That’s what we want, once the seniors leave the rest of the guys have to take their responsibility and do the job. I think we were in the right track, we built some confidence step by step.”

The last ODI has been dedicated to Nuwan Kulasekara, who recently retired from international cricket and Karunaratne wants to win it for him.

“Yes, we hope to give him [Kulasekara] a good send-off, but we go into to every game hoping to win. But that said, just because we’re looking to win doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t give some of the younger players a chance,” he concluded.

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