It will be the 100th time the Bangladesh team will walk out in white clothing when they take on the hosts Sri Lanka in the second Test at the P Sara Oval in Colombo on March 15. The hosts having won the first Test comprehensively by a massive margin of 259 runs would eye a clean sweep in the next game whereas the visitors would hope for better returns in the historic match for their country.
Sri Lanka had put up a clinical performance in the first Test in Galle where Kusal Mendis set the tone with a superb 194 in the first innings. Bangladesh had a lovely opening partnership of 118 runs in the first innings but the inability of the middle order to stick around hurt them big time as they conceded a lead of 182 runs. Upul Tharanga stepped up in the second innings with a century to pose a daunting target of 457.
After another decent opening stand, Bangladesh went from bad to worse as they were bundled out for 197. The veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was at his usual best and picked up 6 wickets. Bangladesh once again showed signs of improvements at the Test level but there is still a long way to go as far as challenging the tougher oppositions overseas is concerned.
They are extremely difficult side to beat in their home conditions but whenever they are taken out of their comfort zones, they realize that there is a whole lot different world outside the grounds of Dhaka and Chittagong. The same happened to them against India in the one-off Test and also in the first Test of this series.
There were flashes of brilliance in their performances but temperament is the aspect that is missing in their game. Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar had an 118 runs opening stand in reply to Sri Lanka’s 494. The platform was beautifully set up and they should have gotten near the total but apart from Mushfiqur Rahim, no one played a substantial inning and that is where they lost the game.
In the bowling too, there were hardly any bright spots as most of them went for heaps of runs. Mahmudullah was dropped from the squad after his dismal show as he scored 8 and 0 with the bat and bowled just the 2 overs. They possess a talented batting line-up without him and each of them needs to raise the game a notch if they are to turn the tables in Colombo. The bowlers too need to raise the bar big time otherwise the Sri Lankan batsmen would keep riding in the home conditions.
The hosts have enjoyed a great run at home and they continued on their merry way in a near perfect match in Colombo. Although they did not have the best of starts with the bat but Kusal Mendis made amends big time and he was ably supported the half-centurions Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella and Dilruwan Perera.
Their spinners Perera and Herath were the major destructors with the ball in both innings. But the team management would be most pleased by the century of Tharanga in the second innings. Chadimal also chipped in with a fifty and that meant all the batsmen contribute to the score in the match.
They would again start as favorites in the second Test and would hope for a whitewash. The only place they might seek improvement in would be in the pace department. The fast bowlers Suranga Lakmal and Lahiru Kumara bowled a combined 40 overs in the match and got one wicket apiece, both were in the first innings.
Rangana Herath (C), Upul Tharanga, Dilruwan Perera, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Lakshan Sandakan
Mushfiqur Rahim (C), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Litton Das (wk), Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Subashis Roy, Mehedi Hasan
100- This will be the 100th Test match for the Bangladesh team.
10- Bangladesh will become the 10th nation to play 100 Tests.
8 – The number of victories Bangladesh have managed so far in 99 Tests.