An unexpected series leveling win by the Bangladeshis in the 2nd Test at the P Sara Stadium saw the visitors going into the limited overs encounters against Sri Lanka with all the momentum. After claiming a comprehensive 259 run win in the 1st Test, Sri Lanka perhaps made the mistake of thinking that Bangladesh were the Tigers of old – a team that could challenge the Lions in fits and starts but not a team that could be seen as a serious threat.
Whether it was complacency or not, the Lankans were made to pay in the 2nd Test as the visitors claimed a landmark win in their 100th Test, once again proving that they were not pushovers.
It took Bangladesh 16 years and 18 games to get one over Sri Lanka in the Test arena and they could not have…
Bangladesh carried forward their good form to the limited overs games as well and managed to complete the series on even footing with the hosts, a mighty impressive feat. Here are some of the key moments of the 5 limited overs encounters.
1st ODI – Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium – Bangladesh won by 90 runs
Sri Lanka’s fielding
Sri Lanka’s performance in the 1st ODI will most likely be remembered for the poor display on the field. Be it catches or misfields, it was all on display in Dambulla as Sri Lanka probably gave away at least 20 – 30 runs as a result of fielding lapses. On a track that offered little to nothing to the bowlers, the fielding and the energy on the field proved to be a decisive factor in a game that Bangladesh came out comfortable winners.
Thisara Perera’s comeback
Meager returns in the ODIs vs Australia in the home series last August saw Perera left out of the team that was whitewashed by the South Africans earlier this year. However, the big man was the standout for Sri Lanka, at least with the bat, making a fighting 55 off just 35 deliveries that included two trademark sixes over long-on.
2nd ODI – Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium – No result
Kusal Mendis’ maiden ton
Youngster Kusal Mendis has been hailed by many as one to watch out for in the future but despite some starts, he had not been able to replicate his Test performances in the ODI format, until now. He overcame a scratchy start to coast to a close to a run-a-ball century. Sri Lanka will hope this is the 1sts of many to come.
Upul Tharanga makes a mark in his 200th ODI
Tharanga caressed his 1st ball of the game to the third man boundary and did not look back. The thing with Tharanga is that when he gets going, he does not look like a player who has many technical flaws and his characteristically exquisite timing was on display once again in Dambulla. A sloppy piece of running saw him caught short of his crease in what was a perfect opportunity for the left hander to notch up another ODI 100.
3rd ODI – Sinhalese Sports Club Grounds – Sri Lanka won by 70 runs
Consistency in the batting
Sri Lanka put together another good batting performance to post 280 on a flat SSC track. Despite this, they will be disappointed to have not made more as at the end of the 1st Power Play, the openers had coasted to 76. Six of the top 7 posted 20+ scores with Kusal Mendis backing up his maiden ton with a solid half century while Thisara Perera put together yet another valuable half century at the back of the end of the innings to carry Sri Lanka to a par score.
Experience shows the way
Sri Lanka had come into the ODI series with a serious lack in experience in the bowling get up, however a couple of injuries saw the likes of Nuwan Kulasekara and Dilruwan Perera coming into the squad as replacements. The pair made it into the playing XI in both the 2nd and 3rd ODIs and proved their worth in Colombo.
Kulasekara removed danger man in the 1st over and then Sabbir Rahman in his next over as Bangladesh slumped to 10/2 at the end of the 3rd over; he went on to finish with figures of 4/37. Dilruwan had a less flattering start as Soumya Sarkar took him for 20 runs in the 10th over of the innings; his 1st. The off spinner had the last laugh however as he removed both Sarkar and Shakib Al-Hasan to break the back of the Bangladeshi innings. He finished with figures of 2/47.
Gunathilake in the field
1st T20I – R Premadasa International Stadium – Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets
Slinga Malinga rattles the stumps
Lasith Malinga was back to his stump-rattling best in the 1st T20 and was a welcome addition to Sri Lanka’s bowling set up. Tamim Iqbal was his 1st victim as the inswinger cashed into middle stump in the very 1st over of game. He then had Mahmudullah castled in the penultimate over, to finish with 2/38.
Podi Sana is back!
An injury had seen that Kusal Janith Perera missed the ODI series, but upon being declared fit, the southpaw continued the prodigious form he had shown in domestic and list A cricket to carve out 77 off 53 deliveries. By the time he was dismissed in the 19th over, Sri Lanka were all but home.
2nd T20I – R Premadasa International Stadium – Bangladesh won by 45 runs
Another Malinga hattrick
We’ve seen 3 ODI hat-tricks by Sri Lanka’s spearhead and he gave us another, this time in the shortest format, becoming the only the 2nd bowler in the history of the game to have claimed 4 hat-tricks. (the other being the great Wasim Akram). What was even more special about the achievement by Malinga was that he did it all by himself; he had Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza bowled and then trapped Mehedi Hasan right in front.
A batting collapse
The hero of the last game, Kusal Perera fell in the 1sts over, his newest opening partner Dilshan Munaweera fell 2 overs later to leave Sri Lanka tottering at 2/19 in 2.3 overs. The Lankans went for one shot too many in their chase of 177 and the dismissal of Upul Tharanga, Asela Gunaratne and Milinda Siriwardene in quick succession meant it was curtains for the hosts and despite a short resurrection of the innings by Chamara Kapugedara and Thisara Perera, Sri Lanka fell short by 45 runs.