Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh Twice — Away in Bangladesh – and Move to Third in Test Table-by Mahinda Balasuriya

Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh Twice — Away in Bangladesh – and Move to Third in Test Table-by Mahinda Balasuriya

Mahinda Balasuriya in ESPNcricinfo, 3 April 2024, where the title runs thus:  “Sri Lanka wrap up 192-run win to complete series sweep”



Sri Lanka did not take long on the fifth morning to pick up the remaining three Bangladesh wickets • Getty Images
Despite some dogged resistance from Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sri Lanka needed just a little over an hour on the final morning to take the last three Bangladesh wickets and secure a resounding 192-run victory in Chattogram. The result meant Sri Lanka swept the series 2-0, but more importantly, collected vital World Test Championship points that see them go up to joint-third on the table. Bangladesh, meanwhile, dropped to eighth.
The visitors went about wrapping up this game much like they had approached the rest of the series – by sticking to their plans. While conditions were still pretty good for batting, the odd ball spitting off the surface along with the uneven bounce on offer meant it was just a matter of being patient. So while Mehidy showed glimpses of enterprising strokeplay mixed with resolute defence, Sri Lanka were always in the hunt at the other end.
Taijul Islam was the first to fall, to Kamindu Mendis, driving at one that gripped and spun away from. The edge was snaffled expertly by Nishan Madushka at gully – the latest in a series of great close-in catches by the Sri Lanka opener.
Hasan Mahmud showed good defensive aptitude for a short period after that, but once the new ball was taken just before the drinks break, the death knell began to toll. It was here that Lahiru Kumara took over, rifling a sharp bouncer that Mahmud could only fend to Madushka at short leg, before doing in Khaled Mahmud with a searing yorker.
Mehidy was stranded at the other end on 81 off 110, wondering what might have been had the rest of Bangladesh’s batters offered a similar fight.
For Sri Lanka, Kumara ended with figures of 4 for 50. Kamindu, meanwhile, finished with a career-best 3 for 32 to go along with his unbeaten 92 in the first innings, which saw him take home both Player-of-the-Match and Player-of-the-Series awards. As for Sri Lanka’s seamers, they ended the series having taken 33 of the 40 available opposition wickets.


Reflections from Michael Roberts as Editor of Thuppahi, 4 April 2024:

I did not watch the match live nor see any video footage, but dipped into the scores from time to time; and also had the benefit of Brian Thomas’s reviews on Facebook. Note that Sri Lanka batted first and piled up a mammoth score of %00 runs in their first innings and then bowled out Bangladesh for  178 runs; then chose not to enforce the follow-on, but struggled to 157 for 7 wkts in the second innings before declaring. Bangladesh made a spirited 318 runs in their second dig, but had too high a moutain to climb ….

One cannot underestimate this set of victories playing away from home. Well done, Sri Lankan men, coach Silverwood and supporting staff.

But WHAT were the significant performances and aspects of the Second Test?

A: Clearly, the first innings total of 531 runs spearheaded by batsmen 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 making 50 or more was the basic foundation for this victory.

B: The bowlers backed this up with an outstanding effort to dismiss Bangladesh for 178 runs  ….with both medium-pacemen and spinners chipping in.

C: I have always considered Lahiru Kumara to be quite pacey, but a genial fool (and a Trintian at that) whose contributions are as iffy as sporadic. Well, he seems to have shattered my stumps in this match. Well done, Lahiru: 2 for 19 in 11overs in the first dig; and 4 wkts for 50 runs in the second displays an outtanding set of contributions.

D: No one can take issue with Kamindu Mendis (another  product of Richmond College) being selected as Man of the Match for his allround performances with both bat and ball.

But let me add pertinent questions  … without being able to present answers.

QQ 1: Captaincy: how did Dhanajaya De Silva fare in this regard? His emergence as captain seems to have been due to a new Selection Committee bringing fresh perspectives. As a man from Galle, I am partisan on this issue ….but have always admired Dhananjaya’s amiable disposition (besides his slip fielding and batting).

QQ2: Charitha Asalanka of Richmond College (like Dhananjaya) has expereince as a captain and has, I think, emerged as a mainstay in the 50-over contests. So: should he be slotted into the side? ….instead of one of the oldies Chandimal or Mathews?

QQ3: But…… but ….. What about Pathum Nissanka …… Hasaranga de Silva .…. Mahesh Theekshana? Why are they not part of the Test XI? 

I await answers from those privy to the inner workings of the Selection Committee and/or local cricketing news.

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