Lanka roll over mediocre Bangladesh
by Rohit Sakunia

Scorecard:Bangladesh v Sri Lanka
Player:Shakib Al Hasan, HKSR Kaluhalamulla, WU Tharanga, DPMD Jayawardene

DateLine: 8th January 2010


First courtesy some very disciplined bowling, Sri Lanka restricted Bangladesh to a very manageable total. The Bangladesh batsmen who till now had performed way above everyone's expectations in the series looked very restricted today. Their top-order batsmen wasted good starts and though the middle order made sure the flow of falling wickets was stemmed, they took a lot of time. This meant though they had wickets at the fag end, still because their was too much to be done, the batsmen in pursuit of quick runs perished more quickly. In the end their total stood at 249 which considering the high scoring standards of the tournament stood no where close to being competitive.


Sri Lankan openers then made mincemeat of the mediocre Bangladeshi bowling attack. Both Mahela Jayawardene and Upul Tharanga absolutely flayed with the host bowling with utter disdain. Boundaries which were a rarity during the host batting, came with absolute regularity as the tourists finished the game as easily as they could have done. Sri Lanka won by 9 wickets and the win has now finalised them as one of the finalists of the tri-series.


Chasing 250 to win, Sri Lanka started with another new set of openers, this time Mahela Jayawardene accompanied Upul Tharanga to the middle. The duo from the very outset looked as if they wanted to win with a bonus point. Mahela especially looked in hurry, smacking Rubel Hossain for three boundaries in his very first over.


The Emerald Islanders raised their 50 inside eight overs and the mood of both the openers spelt disaster for the hosts. Mahmudullah was taken for two boundaries in his first over and even the generally good Razzak wasn't spared as Jayawardene kept using his feet to hit the spinners over the top of their heads. The duo raised the 100 unbeaten in the 17th over and with the same shot, Jayawardene also raised his fifty. Sooner Tharanga also completed his 50 with a delicate square cut of Mohammad Ashraful.


Run scoring seemed like a stroll down the park for the Lankan openers and like thorough professionals the left and right-hand combination went about their task without any fuss. Boundaries kept coming from both ends and even before Sri Lanka had closed on to half of the required runs, the Bangladeshi shoulders started to droop. The 22nd over of the innings only helped in getting the game to finish early as Tharanga and Jayawardene picked up 12 runs of Ashraful's gentle off spinners. Syed Rasel's next over yielded 14, including three hits to the fence from Tharanga's willow as the batsmen continued to make merry.


Sooner Jayawardene brought up his 12th ODI 100 with a exquisite square cut of Razzak. Finally Jayawardene fell to a caught behind of Naeem Islam's off-spinner's. Tharanga then raised his 100 of the next over with a ferocious square drive of Razzak. He cut loose after reaching his ton, spanking Naeem Islam for two boundaries in the 40th over of the innings. The game got over in the 42nd over as Sri Lanka cruised to a nine-wicket win.


Earlier in the afternoon, Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and expectedly elected to field first because of the expectations of dew later in the evening. The pitch like it has been looked a good batting track and only got slowed as the innings progressed. The hosts had another good start to boast of as the opening duo of Imrul Kayes and Tamil Iqbal started again once with a lot of confidence in their abilities. The seamers hardly disturbed the two openers and Tamim especially looked well set for another big one. He though as he has always done failed to live upto expectations, falling to a quicker delivery from Suraj Randiv.


Mohammad Ashraful who walked in at the fall of Tamim's wicket was also guilty of throwing away after getting a start. He went for a second run and was unlucky that the throw from the boundary hit his stumps directly. Imrul Kayes was the next batsmen to be dismissed as he played across the line to Thissara Perera and was trapped in front of the off stump.


It was now left for the two Hasans to take care of the situation. The skipper Shakib and Raqibul now had to stitch something or else Bangladesh would had been in tatters. The duo combined and did well adding 77 runs for the fourth wickets but in the process ate away 20 overs for the same. Such was their patience levels that at one stage Bangladesh went boundary less for 14.1 overs.


Finally the virtue of patience cost Raqibul his wicket. He could not resist chasing a wide delivery by Perera and slapped it straight to Randiv at point. This fall of wicket did not turn out to be all that bad for the hosts as it brought Mushfiqur Rahim to the crease, the only batsmen who probably played with some urgency. The wicketkeeper batsmen who till date was known as a sedate batsmen smacked Thilan Samaraweera for two sixes in an over.


Then the batting side opted for the powerplays and they sounded doomsday for them. Five wickets fell for the addition of a mere 32 runs in the 5 overs and this in the history of the batting powerplays was the second worst ever, the first being Pakistan 6 for 41 against India at Centurion. The first to fall was Shakib who could not clear deep-square leg. Mushfiqur who it seemed wanted to close-in to 300 was sent back courtesy some intelligent bowling by Randiv, who deceived him by bowling it slower through the air.


From here on, all powerplay overs yielded a wicket and Sri Lanka further tighetened their grip on the game. Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak and Rubel Hossain all fell to hand over the advantage to the touring party. Bangladesh could only manage 249 finally and the early start to counter dew hardly looked to benefit them.