Feb 032014
 
Sri Lanka guard against travel weariness

Match facts

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Start time 0930 local (0330 GMT)

Dilruwan Perera bowls, Chittagong, February 3, 2014

Dilruwan Perera has a chance to strengthen his claim to a permanent Test spot © AFP
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Big Picture

Having received their fourth-worst clobbering in Mirpur, Bangladesh need to find their resolve to make the Chittagong Test more of a contest. Peppered by bouncers in the first Test, the Bangladesh batsmen appeared more interested in providing short-lived entertainment than working through the tough periods. The end result was the kind of performance that diminished the advances Bangladesh have made in Test cricket.

Though the batting was their most conspicuous failure, Bangladesh will also want to eliminate the fielding mistakes that squandered key chances in Mirpur. Their bowling was not as toothless as Sri Lanka’s total of 730 for 6 suggests, but they too could do with a boost in spirit.

Two injuries to major Sri Lanka players may make Bangladesh’s task easier in the second Test, however. Rangana Herath’s problematic knee has flared up, and he is a serious doubt for the match, as is Shaminda Eranga, who has a thigh strain after a month of heavy work.

Perhaps in light of their workload over the past month (they played 18 Test-match days in January), Sri Lanka have had an unusually casual lead-in to the second Test. They trained at a low intensity on both days before the Test, perhaps also concerned that sore bodies could lead to more injury.

Some players may also be beginning to experience tour fatigue. Sri Lanka were in the UAE since the first week of December, and had fewer than 48 hours at home before they left for Bangladesh. With the limited-overs matches and Asia Cup also on the horizon, there is no end in sight. Their challenge will be to stay motivated and in control of their cricket. There have been four series since 2010 where Sri Lanka have taken a 1-0 lead, then finished with a series-leveling loss, and while Bangladesh will have to improve substantially to push the visitors, Sri Lanka should be wary of allowing their effort to subside.

Form guide

(last five matches, most recent first)

Bangladesh: LDDWL Sri Lanka: WLWDW

In the spotlight

Dilruwan Perera‘s best contribution on debut had been his 95 from no. 8, but in Mirpur he showcased an appetite for wickets as well, as he extracted more turn than any other bowler. Sri Lanka require a reliable bowling allrounder to balance their side, and having tasted Test success, Perera will hope to sustain it. A bagful in Hearath’s absence will go some way to ensuring he is picked for the England tour in June.

Tamim Iqbal made 6 and 11 in the first Test, and there is pressure on him to score in this game. He doesn’t have three cheap innings on the trot on too many occasions, and will be expected to make a bigger contribution.





Pitch and conditions

The pitch is a typical Chittagong wicket – slow and flat. There will be far less bounce on offer for the faster bowlers, and runs will be available readily. The outfield is a little hard because there was a water shortage for three weeks last month, which affected the ground area. The grass has re-grown but the sandy base has remained.

Teams news

Marshall Ayub is at risk of losing his No. 3 place after failing to get fifties in his five Test innings. He could be replaced by Imrul Kayes. Rubel Hossain is likely to be dropped too, to be replaced by Mahmudullah or Abdur Razzak. Mahmudullah’s inclusion could be a bid to extend the batting line-up.

Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Shamsur Rahman, 3 Marshall Ayub/Imrul Kayes, 4 Mominul Haque, 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Mahmudullah/Abdur Razzak, 9 Sohag Gazi, 10 Robiul Islam, 11 Al-Amin Hossain

Nuwan Pradeep and Ajantha Mendis are the likeliest replacements for Eranga and Herath. Sri lanka will almost certainly stay with the same side elsewhere.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Dimuth Karunaratne, 2 Kaushal Silva, 3 Kumar Sangakkara, 4 Mahela Jayawardene, 5 Dinesh Chandimal (wk), 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Kithuruwan Vithanage, 8 Dilruwan Perera, 9 Ajantha Mendis, 10 Suranga Lakmal, 11 Nuwan Pradeep

Stats and trivia

  • There have been five centuries at this ground by Bangladesh batsmen, two of which were scored in the last Test here in October.
  • Kumar Sangakkara has passed 50 in his last five innings against Bangladesh
  • Angelo Mathews averages 99.60 in his last four Tests

Quotes

“Senior players like me, Tamim and Shakib have to take up the responsibilty to get the runs.”
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim

“We’re not very worried if Eranga and Herath can’t play tomorrow. We have Nuwan Pradeep who took a lot of wickets in the one Test that he played, in Dubai, so we have some bench strength.”
Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews

Jan 302014
 
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2013-14 (1st Test): All-Round Sri Lanka Coast to Huge Win

Faced with the daunting task of having to bat out two days and see off a near-500 run lead, Bangladesh batsmen failed to meet the challenge and succumbed to a huge innings-defeat shortly after lunch on Day 4 of the Dhaka Test.

Match Report: 1st Test: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Day 4 at Dhaka, January 30, 2014

Riding on the back of a huge first-innings score and some reckless batting from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka completed their second biggest Test victory by an innings at Dhaka. Even though, a lead of 498 runs meant that the game was well and truly in Sri Lanka’s grasp, the Bangladesh batsmen batted with unneeded aggression, showing no signs that they ever wanted to take the game to the 5th day, let alone thinking about saving it.

To give credit to the Sri Lankan bowlers, most of the wickets in the 1st session were due to some smart bowling from the visitors, which was made even more effective due to the hara-kiri attitude of the hosts. It was the fast bowlers who began the proceedings for the visitors early on. Opening batsman Shamsur Rahman fell very early, on the 2nd ball of the morning, a ripper of a ball from Shaminda Eranga. Suranga Lakmal soon joined the party and removed Marshall Ayub for 18.

Young Mominul Haque and Shakib al Hasan tried to counter attack, adding 52 runs run-a-ball for the 4th wicket before Shakib was trapped leg before by Dilruwan Perera. Mominul continued in the same vein and reached his 3rd Test fifty in 52 balls. But Perera, like tragedy, struck again- removing Mominul and captain Mushfiqur Rahim in quick succession. Bangladesh were reeling at 150/6 at the lunch break, and Sri Lanka sniffed their biggest victory ever.

The lower-order tried to resist and the tail threatened to wag but the Bangladesh batsmen failed to build any solid partnerships. Perera continued to chip away wickets at regular intervals and was ably supported by the seamers. Lakmal accounted for Sohag Gazi, who scored a quickfire 23, and Robiul Islam, while Perera removed the last remaining specialist batsman Nasir Hossain for 29. At 9/197, it looked game over for Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were almost certain to wrap up their biggest ever Test win.

However, the numbers 10 and 11 for Bangladesh, the two unrelated Hossains – Rubel and Al-Amin – chose this moment to frustrate the Sri Lankans a bit. The two launched a much-belated counter-attack scoring boundaries at will. Al-Amin, playing in his 2nd Test, hit four huge sixes in his 18-ball 32. Eventually, Rubel fell to Perera, giving the off-spinner his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket, and Sri Lanka a well-deserved victory. Mahela Jayawardene was adjudged the Man of the Match for his unbeaten double hundred.

Sri Lanka will be more than happy with this victory. It was an all-round team performance where very department performed its job- the batsmen scored runs, the bowlers took regular wickets, and the fielders held on to the catches. Bangladesh were outplayed comprehensively, but they only had themselves to blame. On a batting wicket, they lacked the application required in a Test match. Their over-aggressive tendencies were exploited easily by the visitors.

Sri Lanka now lead the two match series 1-0 and Bangladesh will have a lot of introspection to do before the 2nd Test begins in Chittagong in 5 days’ time.

Scorecard: Sri Lanka 730/6d (Mahela Jayawardene 203*, Kaushal Silva 139, Vithanage 103*) beat Bangladesh 232 (Mushfiq 61, Eranga 4/49) and 250 (Mominul 50, Dilruwan Perera 5/109) by an innings and 248 runs

Man of the Match: Mahela Jayawardene (SL)

Image: Bleacher Report

Jan 182014
 
Shehzad hits hundred but Pakistan toil for runs

Shehzad’s hundred took Pakistan to 291-6 at close on the third day, still 137 runs behind Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 428-9

Shehzad hits hundred but Pakistan toil for runs (© AFP)

AFP

Full scorecard

Sharjah: Opener Ahmed Shehzad scored a maiden century but Pakistan toiled for runs in their bid for a series-levelling win against Sri Lanka in the third and final Test in Sharjah on Saturday.

The 22-year-old right-hander made 147 in only his second Test as Pakistan scored 291-6 at close on the third day, still trailing by 137 runs over Sri Lanka’s first innings total of 428-9 declared.

Pakistan lost Sarfraz Ahmed for five, caught behind off spinner Rangana Herath in the last over of the day. Misbah-ul Haq was unbeaten on 36.

With two days remaining and Pakistan lagging well behind they will be hard pressed to enforce a result, with Sri Lanka happy for a no-result affair.

While Pakistan struggled for runs, it was a memorable day for young Shehzad.

Shehzad added a quick 56 for the fourth wicket with Misbah but Pakistan’s slow and cautious batting amidst some tight bowling blunted their efforts to get closer to Sri Lanka’s total.

Pakistan, trailing 1-0 in the three-match series after losing the second Test in Dubai by nine wickets, managed 150 runs in the first two sessions after resuming at 19-0, losing opener Khurram Manzoor (52) and Azhar Ali (eight).

Sri Lanka mostly employed a six-man leg-side field as their bowlers made runs hard to come by, with Pakistan adding only 23 in the first hour’s play.

But Shehzad, who made 55 in the drawn first Test in Abu Dhabi, paced up the innings in the last session, helping Pakistan to 122 runs in the two hours but Pakistan lost four wickets.

Shehzad reached his hundred with a couple towards cover off spinner Dilruwan Perera, taking 230 balls to reach the three-figure mark studded with seven fours. His second fifty came off 80 balls.

He was finally bowled off a reverse sweep against Herath. Shehzad batted for 339 minutes, hit 12 fours and a six.

In a slow but steady start he put on 114 for the opening wicket with Manzoor.

Manzoor fell soon after lunch as he tried to glance a leg-side delivery from paceman Shaminda Eranga but only managed to snick it to wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene.

He hit four boundaries during his 125-ball innings.

Ali, dropped for the first two Tests, battled for 27 deliveries and departed after edging off-spinner Dilruwan Perera to slip for his first Test wicket.

Both Manzoor and Ali challenged the umpire’s decisions but ended up wasting both Pakistan’s referrals.

Experienced batsman Younis Khan didn’t last long either as he fell caught behind off Herath for 17. Herath had the best figures amongst Sri Lankan bowlers with 3-88.

Eranga had 2-53 while Perera took 1-71.

Full scorecard

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