Bangladesh suffered yet another defeat in a multi-nation ODI tournament as they lost to Sri Lanka by 79 runs in the tri-nation series final at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Saturday. The occasion was the fourth when the Tigers lost a final in a multi-nation series, and the second time they lost against Sri Lanka in a final.
Bangladesh started the series on a high, winning the first two matches with bonus points to qualify for the final before the two other teams. They also won the third game, against Zimbabwe, but since then concern over batting had emerged. Bangladesh came into the final backed by below-par performance from the batters and the nightmare was revisited Saturday.
On the day, Bangladesh had gone to chase 222 without Shakib al Hasan, who had injured his little finger in his left hand in the 42nd over of the Sri Lanka innings. But that should not have hampered the host as they had seven other batsmen in the XI. However, majority of the batsmen failed to show intent in order to chase down the target. The slowing Mirpur surface is being heavily blamed for Bangladesh’s debacle but Sri Lanka had also batted on the same track to put up the total.
Bangladesh ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza was queried if his batsmen could have learned the lessons from their counterpart, simply by adapting to the situation. Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella and captain Dinesh Chandimal had posted significant contributions, a combined tally of 143 runs, facing 230 deliveries in total.
"The wicket was going up and down a bit. A batsman had to be set before playing shots. It is difficult to explain what was going on in their (batsmen) head. If the Mahmudullah-Mushfiqur [Rahim] partnership took us ahead, we would have been in a better position. But Mushfiq got out after getting set," Mashrafe explained following the defeat.
According to Mashrafe the failure by the batsmen was because of the mentality. As a batsman, one has to take the right decisions and know how to get out of a pressure situation, the veteran pacer opined.
Bangladesh in the game lost three top batsmen for only 15 runs. Mushfiq added a patient 22 off 40 balls but the real nerve was shown by middle-order batsman Mahmudullah. The right-handed batsman faced 92 deliveries for his 76 before getting dismissed in the 42nd over. As it were, Mahmudullah became the hat-trick victim for Shehan Madushanka.
"Mahmudullah needed support at the other end. He was the last man out. He had to play shots. If he got support from the middle-order, he could have taken the chase deeper. In the (2017) Champions Trophy, he rotated the strike with Shakib [al Hasan]. But playing shots and picking singles, all of it can't be one batsman's work," said Mashrafe.