Tigers whimper to series loss

There was one last opportunity for Bangladesh to correct their mistakes after the first-innings debacle but it seemed that the home batsmen had given up even before the unlikely chase of 339 as a reckless batting performance saw the Tigers crushed by 215 runs by Sri Lanka, who clinched the series 1-0 at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Given the dry nature of the pitch in Mirpur it was earlier assumed that the second and final Test would not last till the fifth day, but the Tigers being bundled out for just 123, 13 more than their first innings score, helped it to end midway through the third day.

This was Bangladesh’s first Test series defeat at home since 2015, which came in then Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s first home Test series. It is a full circle of sorts for him as he now helms Sri Lanka, having quit his Bangladesh post four months ago.

The two Bangladesh innings lasted a combined 75.1 overs, seven balls more than Sri Lanka batted in their second innings.

Resuming the third day on 200 for eight, player-of-the-match and series Roshen Silva, on an overnight 58, managed to hold on with the tailenders for another 12 overs before Sri Lanka were bundled out for 226 runs with the right-hander unbeaten on a hard fought 145-ball 70, his second half-ton in just his third game, following a century in the first Test.

Suranga Lakmal’s 41-ball 21 only frustrated the home side as even the overnight lead of 312 looked more than enough for the visitors. The next 26 runs just worked as a psychological blow to a team that does not handle the kind well.

The pitch suddenly seemed unplayable when the hosts batted. Shot selection was once again highly questionable and the mental strength and concentration levels never looked like adapting to a wicket that demanded compact batting and decisive foot movement.

 

One of the most consistent and tested Bangladesh batsmen in recent times, Tamim Iqbal witnessed a rare disappointment in both innings of a Test and was the first to depart. The left-hander was undone by a slight turn from off-spinner Dilruwan Perera as the ball went past his forward defence to trap him leg-before. Tamim went for the review but it showed the ball was going on to hit the stumps, sending him on his way for two.

Imrul Kayes, having just struck a six off Herath was outfoxed by a straighter one, which he edged to the wicketkeeper after scoring 17, as Bangladesh went to lunch on 50 for two.

Mominul Haque tried to hang on and was the highest scorer with 33 and also one among four Bangladesh batsmen to reach double figures in the second innings, but the left-hander waited for turn but was once more outfoxed by a Herath arm-ball and the result was the same as Imrul’s.

Liton Das was the only Bangladeshi batsman who faced an unplayable delivery and was caught at short leg for 12 off an Akila Dananjaya delivery that rose sharply.

Stand-in skipper Mahmudullah played a nothing shot when he came down the track to off-spinner Dananjaya and only managed to edge a defensive prod to slip, while Mushfiqur Rahim managed to spend some time at the crease but misjudged a flighted delivery and was stumped after scoring 25.

Sabbir Rahman continued his poor run and was dismissed for just one as Dananjaya cleaned up the Bangladesh lower-middle order and bagged his maiden five-wicket haul on debut to make it eight in the game. Herath ended up picking four wickets and surpassed Wasim Akram’s tally of 414 wickets to become the highest Test wicket-taker among left-arm bowlers when he had Taijul Islam, the last Bangladesh wicket, caught at deep mid-wicket.