Tigers revert to type | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 04, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:37 AM, May 04, 2021

Tigers revert to type

"I was short of runs before this series, and I had to put my hand up here. I did well here, and so did all the other batters. Everything went well, winning the toss, batting first, the spinners bowled really well. Praveen was fantastic and Ramesh too, but I think they need to play Test matches regularly, build confidence, and if they do that, they will fill the shoes of Dilruwan and Rangana for sure."

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, 

who won the player-of-the-series award for his scores of 244, 118 and 66 in three innings.

 

Bangladesh's performance in the two-match Test series in Sri Lanka was a fare reflection of what happened to them in the past.

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The Tigers had a good outing with the bat in the first Test, with Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mominul Haque scoring centuries and veteran Tamim Iqbal proving the most consistent batsman with three half-centuries in two Tests.

Pacer Taskin Ahmed showed vast improvement in his comeback Test after four years and was by far the most successful bowler in the Bangladesh side.

The visitors declared the first innings of the first Test on 547 for seven, and although the hosts took a lead, Bangladesh batsmen kept their composure in the second innings to eventually draw the first Test.

These were the only positives from the series to take for the visitors.

Bangladesh's consistency and hunger to push the limits in tough conditions eventually came to a 'breaking point', according to head coach Russell Domingo, after spending a significant amount of time on the field under hot and humid conditions.

Tigers fumbled badly in the second Test as their batsmen surrendered against a debutant left-arm spinner and an off-spinner who was playing his second Test, the pair accounting for 17 wickets.

After being bundled out for 251 in the first innings, Bangladesh's batting approach in the second innings was questionable as they were set a target of 437 on the fourth day. The top five batsmen tried to charge the Lankan spinners on a pitch which was offering much assistance to the two spinners.

Maybe the batsmen followed instructions of the coach, who had previously stated that he was barely happy with a draw.

Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, Bangladeshi batsmen kept charging the bowlers and were eventually bundled out for 227 on the fifth morning to face a thrashing 209-run defeat.

'I think the most important thing in this Test match was the toss, in my view. First two days there wasn't anything for the bowlers. Almost 50% of the Test match was decided by the toss. Obviously there are a lot of positives to take [from this series]. I lost the series but that doesn't mean I lost everything. Obviously, there will be criticism from you people and everyone else but I think there are a lot of positives to take.'

Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque

"I don't think we performed as a batting group except for Tamim (Iqbal) bhai in the first innings. He made a good start but we couldn't capitalise on it. If we could have batted for three or four sessions, things would have been different. We batted six sessions in the first Test," Mominul said after the match.

"You can neither be too defensive on these wickets, not can you be too attacking. You have to find a low-risk method. We had to take calculative risks like as a left-hander I can attack the left-arm spinner or the right-hander can attack the right-arm spinner," added the Bangladesh captain.

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne, who himself had a great outing with 428 runs in two Tests, was all praise for left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama, who bagged a record eleven wickets on his debut. Karunaratne also said that their batsmen worked on their patience and mindset for Test cricket which paid dividends.   "In West Indies, we did a lot of good things. It's not an easy place to bat, with the Dukes ball being used. But we fixed our mindset and worked on our temperament and patience. I think that's why we were able to make big scores in this series- Dhananjaya de Silva's 166 [in the first Test], and Thirimanne's 140. We knew that we needed a big score on the board in the first innings to win a match, so that was playing on our minds. We took responsibility," said Karunaratne.

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