Weeks of exciting cricket came to an end as the two-match Twenty20 series between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh concluded at the R Premadasa Stadium last evening. The two-match test series, three-match one-day international series, and the two-match twenty20 series ended 1-1.
Three one-day internationals were played to determine a winner but the second game was abandoned due to bad weather. The two teams were inseparable but the visitors had comfort winning away from home. The Tigers had more to relish as they managed to win their maiden test in the island. It certainly was a special moment as it was their 100th Test in total.
“It is a great feeling, winning a Test in Sri Lanka. This is the 100th Test, nothing better than that. The way we are improving, we will win some games in the future. We are having a very good time at home. We will have to play better away from home. We knew we could chase down 200 here. We knew if we apply we can score runs. Nos.9 and 10 batted well for Sri Lanka when we wanted to restrict them to 150,” said Shakib Al Hasan at the post-match presentation.
The win in the second test gave Bangladesh the momentum to outclass Sri Lanka in the 1st one day international. However, Sri Lanka roared back with the bat in the 2nd one day international. Unfortunately for them, the game was washed out by an unexpected storm at Dambulla.
The hosts were much better in all departments in the third one-day international in Colombo. Their dominant win not only leveled the series but contributed to the side’s confidence in the 1st Twenty20. The visitors were completely outplayed by batsman Kusal Janith Perera.
However, the defeat in the 2nd Twenty20 stole all the credit from the boys in blue. A win would have boosted their confidence ahead of the all-important ICC Champions Trophy later this year. Kusal Mendis, Kusal Janith Perera, Dilruwan Perera, and Lasith Malinga made good use of their opportunity on the tour. Asela Gunaratne, Dinesh Chandimal, Rangana Herath, Chamara Kapugedara and Thisara Perera contributed with solid performances as well.
Meanwhile, the boys with experience did a fantastic job for the visitors. Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar got the side off to excellent starts in all formats of the game. Shakib Al Hasan steadied the innings alongside talented Mosaddek Hossain. Mehedi Hasan and Musatfizur Rahman got their basics right to restrict Sri Lanka from getting away with the game.
Longstanding skipper Mushrafe Mortaza’s retirement from Twenty20 cricket was the highlight in yesterday’s game. He was brilliant with the ball in the middle overs.
“It’s not ideal for us. We should have won all three series. It’s not good enough to say that we have drawn all three series, as we were playing at home. We expected to win the series. For me, the batting was very disappointing. It was nothing to do with the wicket, but something went wrong somewhere. It’s very difficult to give answers. This is one of the best wickets in the country. We need our top five batsmen to fire. If we don’t get runs there, it’s going to be a problem,” said Sri Lanka Cricket manager Asanka Gurusinha.
Moreover, former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga expressed his views on the future of Bangladesh cricket.
“My advice is to plan for the 2023 World Cup now itself. In 2023, the World Cup will be played in the sub-continent. They should invest a lot on the current under-19 side and the under-23 side to get the desired results six years from now. If they plan properly, I think it could not be difficult to win the World Cup in the subcontinent. Draw up a plan saying that you want to reach the semi-finals in 2023 and things will fall in line,” said Ranatunga.
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