• Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Inept batting leaves bowlers helpless

SL take T20I series 2-0

Bishwajit Roy

Victory eluded the Tigers yet again as Sri Lanka clinched another last-ball thriller to seal the T20 series 2-0 with a three-wicket win in the second match at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium last night.
There were not many who believed that Bangladesh could pull off a win against the number one side in the newest format after the home team set a mere 121-run target for the visitors following senseless batting after winning the toss.
But the valiant bowling effort led by captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza brought them back in contention before gentle medium pacer Forhad Reza could not keep the Sri Lankans from scoring the nine required to win.
If the batting approach of the Tigers irked supporters, they were perplexed when stopgap captain Mashrafe gave the ball to Forhad Reza with the visitors requiring nine runs off last six balls when a trusted bowler like Shakib Al Hasan had two overs in hand.
Everybody was on their toes when the right-arm paceman started his over and the recalled all-rounder bowled five good deliveries to leave Sri Lanka needing two from the last ball. Inexplicably however, he produced a short delivery that was smacked by Sachithra Senanayake to the square leg fence, thus sealing a cruel end to the match for Mashrafe, who rotated his bowler brilliantly to unsettle Sri Lanka's batting in defence of a meagre total.
Sri Lanka lost wickets at regular intervals but Tigers' bogey-man Kumar Sangakkara was there to keep hopes alive. Pacer Rubel Hossain however seized back the initiative by inducing an outside edge from Sangakkara's bat to short third man where local hero Tamim Iqbal took a good low catch. Sri Lanka were then reduced to 96 for seven leaving the tail-enders to score 25 runs off 20 balls.
Senanayake and Thisara Perera, who was unbeaten on 35, however kept their cool to take their team to a victory with an unbeaten 27-run stand.


After Arafat Sunny, Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyad's early success, captain Mashrafe himself snared two scalps of Angelo Perera and Angelo Mathews to swing the game in favour of the Tigers.
In the bigger picture however, the Bangladesh team management must get answers about the poor batting approach in the match, the Tigers' last T20I before the ICC World Twenty20 at home.
Sri Lanka had started with a dropped catch to give Shamsur Rahman a second chance but the right-hander played a lethargic pull to get out while Tamim was not good enough to clear the fence. The openers' quick dismissals however hardly dented the flamboyant spirit of the two next batsmen Shakib and Anamul Haque.
Anamul, whose good knock went in vain in the first match, entertained the crowd most but it made no sense to play with a motto of hitting every ball after a productive over. Both batsmen were victims of two spectacular catches but they should not have played the extravagant shots in the first place.
Bangladesh batsmen must learn, and that too quickly, that every ball is not to be smashed even in a T20 game.

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, February 15, 2014

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