Published: January 9, 2010
In the previous two defeats there was at least something to cheer about. But things turned very sour for the Tigers in their third encounter of the Idea Cup tri-nation tournament as Sri Lanka outclassed them with a massive nine-wicket victory at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.
Twin tons from Mahela Jayawardene and Upul Tharanga made the 250-run target look small and Sri Lanka easily maintained their hundred percent successes in the tournament as well as confirmed a final berth in grand style. For the Tigers, the third defeat in a row all but confirmed their elimination.
The runs came thick and fast as the unbeaten Lankans achieved their target (252-1) with 7.1 overs to spare.
It was a nightmare scenario for the local bowlers on a flat track, especially in the second session, as the two openers executed shots all over the park with consummate ease. Bangladesh however managed to avert their third 10-wicket defeat against the Lankans, thanks to spinner Nayeem Islam who got an edge of Jayawardene to wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim.
They might have survived from the humiliation of a ten-wicket defeat but the truth is that Sri Lanka virtually faced no resistance from Jamie Siddons’ charges in the match as Bangladesh’s batting also lost it’s gel after two impressive performances.
Jayawardene, who smashed thirteen boundaries during his 117-ball 108, flew in for the injured Tillakaratne Dilshan and made an immediate impact in the team as the stylish right-hander slammed his twelfth one-day hundred while Tharanga continued his rich vein of form with an unbeaten 126-ball 118 that contained 18 boundaries.
However, Sri Lanka had much to thank Lady Luck for. Kumar Sangakkara, the Sri Lankan skipper won the toss for the third successive occasion to make the obvious decision of bowling first under conditions where bowlers struggle in the second session due to the dew factor.
That meant Bangladesh batting first for the third occasion in a row, once through own folly. But while against India they batted well; this time the innings saw a lack of thrust. Most of the players got starts but failed to carry on as the wickets fell at regular intervals against the disciplined bowling effort of the Lankans.
The southpaw opening pair of Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes made another confident start but the early departure of the dashing Tamim made sure that there would be no ample fireworks in the initial stage like the previous two games in front of nearly 10,000 fans.
And then there was a costly run out when a confident Mohammad Ashraful departed on an unlucky 13 after a sharp direct throw by Thilan Thushara from the third man spoiled the former Bangladesh skipper’s attempt to take an ambitious second run.
Imrul Kayes was quick to follow him being trapped in front by Thisara Perera as Bangladesh were reduced to 88 for three.
Captain Shakib Al Hasan however returned amongst the runs after forlorn performances in the last two games but his 75-ball 47 and a 77-run fourth wicket association with Rokibul Hasan (43 off 71 balls) hardly made the impact from where the hosts could throw a real challenge for the Lankan batsmen.
The score could have been much better if a collapse had not happened during the batting powerplay, as the home side lost five wickets for 32 runs. Bangladesh took the batting powerplay from the 43rd over on 199 for four but lost the way very quickly when Shakib was out first ball of the Powerplay trying to drag a short ball from Thushara from outside off for the pull, only to find the man at the square-leg boundary.
A cameo came from wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who smacked two sixes in an over against Thilan Samaraweera to collect seventeen runs. But his 22-ball 32 and inform Mahmudullah Riyad’s run-a-ball 24 in the latter part of the innings were not good enough to put up a stiff target for their opponents on the batting paradise.
And in the second innings, the Lankan batsmen aptly proved how good the track was.