The kind of team Sri Lanka brought to Bangladesh previously was much better than the current one. Their batting and bowling lineups used to boast some of the best in the history of Test cricket and thrashing Bangladesh was like a cakewalk for them. They created a legacy against Bangladesh in Test cricket – a legacy that the current generation is carrying on despite being in tatters.
Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets and wrapped the series by 1-0.#BCB #Cricket #BANvSL pic.twitter.com/vE6OEvq8ka
— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) May 27, 2022
The Sri Lankan team that had just won the Test series against Bangladesh is beleaguered and were not expected to win – but their ability to fight back whenever they were cornered enabled them to maintain the record established by their predecessors.
Four years ago, Bangladesh had the opportunity to break the jinx against Sri Lanka at home, which they botched courtesy of a poor batting display in the second innings, and four years later, the feat was repeated – Sri Lanka won by 10 wickets – something which was not even expected.
Surely, a team cannot expect to win if the top order continues to fail consistently in both the innings.
In the first innings, they lost 5 wickets within 7 overs for 24 runs whereas in the second, they lost 4 for 23 runs when the lights were fading and shadows were turning tall on Day 4.
Yet again, Bangladesh expected Mushfiqur Rahim and Litton Das to dish out yet another special partnership like the first to save the day, but such things don’t happen all the time – cricket is a team game, and each and everyone needs to step up.
Shakib Al Hasan kept the hopes alive and when he was dismissed, achieving victory was just a matter of time.
☝️ Tamim Iqbal
☝️ Najmul Hossain Shanto
☝️ Mominul Haque
Three wickets in quick succession for Sri Lanka 👏#WTC23 | #BANvSL | https://t.co/7KXvVIR736 pic.twitter.com/hyokNFuSq4
— ICC (@ICC) May 26, 2022
15 batters from Bangladesh were out in single digits in both innings, which included nine ducks – this is some kind of a record that the Tigers would love to forget as soon as they land in the West Indies.
Most importantly, Bangladesh’s performance with the bat in their respective second innings remains poor as usual.
In the first Test against South Africa this year, all the hard work went in vain when they collapsed in the second outing – it was repeated against Pakistan last year and back in 2019, Afghanistan triumphed despite rain-washed days courtesy of another lack of intent in the darkness where Bangladesh needed was to stay at the wicket and see off the day safely.
Bangladesh have been bundled out for less than a hundred runs thrice in their last seven outings!
Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who bats at number 3, has scored 279 runs in the last 15 innings at an average of 18.06 whereas the skipper Mominul Haque has scored just 176 runs in the last 15 at an average of 12.57 – quite an unacceptable performance.
Very frustrated on Mominul Haque’s performance. Very shocking. Totally shameful. I don't see anything better against the WI too. @BCBtigers#BANvSL
— Fahad Zaman (@KZF017) May 27, 2022
Whether the Bangladeshi batters run out of steam or lack of commitment throughout the five days remains a moot question and even after so many years, the ghost of batting in the second innings tends to revisit.
“In both the innings [in the second Test against Sri Lanka], we were 24 for four and 24 for five in the first innings. We are not going to win Test matches from those positions. We have got to change something,” said a frustrated Bangladeshi coach Russell Domingo.
“It happened too many times in the last six to eight months. And if that means we have to change the order and look for one or two new options, we possibly have to do that going forward”
“Like we did before going to New Zealand, we are going to have to prepare really well [for the tour of the West Indies]. We need to be willing to leave balls and be very patient and go back to old-fashioned Test match batting. We need to do something different and take a look at the batting order. Because if we do the same thing, we will get the same result,” added Domingo.
Sri Lanka’s fighting spirit deserves accolades
After a poor tour of India, they discovered a mess at home and changes in management.
Sri Lanka needed to show determination and then push for the win, which they did in Chattogram and Dhaka.
Angelo Mathews has scored two centuries in a Test series since 2015 whereas Dinesh Chandimal rediscovered his mojo by scoring a hundred since 2018. The 199-run stand between Mathews and Chandimal for the sixth wicket in Dhaka is the highest for the pair in Test cricket. Niroshan Dickwella, known for being reckless, exhibited discipline in Chattogram to arrest a collapse.
A superb performance by Asitha Fernando to claim Player of the Match 💥
This is only the second time a Sri Lanka pacer has taken 10 wickets in an away Test.#BANvSL | #WTC23 pic.twitter.com/xRGUNwAFZI
— ICC (@ICC) May 27, 2022
Concussion substitute Kasun Rajitha and inexperienced Asitha Fernando put the home side batters under all sorts of trouble with accuracy, pace, and bounce.
Fernando became only the second fast bowler in their history to bag a ten-wicket haul since their bowling coach Chaminda Vaas.
Rajitha and Fernando shared 17 wickets in between them on a deck where there was hardly anything for the pacers.
Sri Lanka has conquered Bangladesh and has left the Tigers with plenty to ponder.