The tri-nation ODI series featuring host Bangladesh and visiting sides Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe was much anticipated for many reasons. Chief among them was the return of Sri Lanka head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, who not so long ago managed the Tigers before his abrupt exit following Bangladesh’s tour of South Africa. Hathurusingha duly lived upto the billing as the Lankans lifted the title, much to the agony of the home side. Dhaka Tribune
reviews the five most interesting moments from the tri-series, from the Tigers’ batting collapse to Anamul Haque’s run of failures with the bat at the top of the order, among other things.
Batting collapse haunts Tigers
In recent years, Bangladesh’s batting often collapsed like a house of cards in pressure situations. The Tigers however, managed to prevent that in the last year or so. But all of a sudden, the bitter memories of the past were revisited as they suffered two major batting collapses in their five ODIs of the tri-series. Bangladesh lost six wickets in the middle period of their innings against Zimbabwe in their third ODI. From 147 runs for the loss of three wickets and Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim well set at the crease, Bangladesh were reduced to 170 losing eight wickets. And in their fourth ODI, Bangladesh produced horrific batting to get dismissed for just 82 against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka chased down the 83-run target without loss in just 12 overs. And so, batting collapse once again reared its ugly head.
No 7 spot still up for grabs
Prior to the tournament, Tigers ODI captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza said the No 7 batting position in their line-up was still up for grabs for a number of players. Nasir Hossain was assigned that spot for three innings. Nasir however, scored nought against Sri Lanka, two against Zimbabwe and three against the Lankans, failing to capitalise on his opportunities. Nasir, often called “Mr Finisher”, had a poor tournament, and was unable to do justice to his name as far as the finishing role is concerned. He was eventually dropped for the grand finale.
Anamul fails to shine
All eyes were on opener Anamul, who had been recalled to the national team after 2015. The right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman scored a lot of runs in the domestic circuit before getting called up to the national side after almost three years. But the opener failed to cash in on several opportunities, scoring 19 against Zimbabwe, 35 against Sri Lanka, one against Zimbabwe and nought against Sri Lanka. His first two innings were promising but later, the team management decided to drop him for the final.
Final hoodoo continues for Tigers
Bangladesh have lost three finals at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka. They lost against Sri Lanka in the 2009 tri-series, against Pakistan in the 2012 Asia Cup and against India in the Asia Cup T20 2016. They got their fourth opportunity to break the curse but unfortunately, the losing streak continued for the Tigers. Sri Lanka posted a challenging total of 221. Bangladesh were dealt a major blow when Shakib al Hasan got injured during Sri Lanka’s innings. Shakib, who bats in the crucial No 3 position these days, was unable to bat, thus forcing Bangladesh onto the backfoot from the very beginning of the Tigers’ innings. And perhaps the host’s cautious approach in the first 10 overs and loss of three quick wickets gave Sri Lanka the upper hand. Mahmudullah’s fighting 76-run innings was not enough and Bangladesh lost yet another final in Mirpur.
The Fizz fastest Bangladeshi to 50 ODI scalps
With the wicket of Sri Lanka’s Upul Tharanga in the final, Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman claimed his 50th ODI wicket. Tharanga was cleaned up in the third ball of the 36th over as Mustafizur initiated a crucial breakthrough for Bangladesh. Mustafizur also got the wicket of Akila Dananjaya in the later part of the innings to finish with brilliant bowling figure of 2/29 in his quota of 10 overs. Mustafizur achieved his 50-wicket haul in his 27th ODI. Mustafizur in the process became the fastest Bangladeshi to claim 50 ODI wickets, overlapping Abdur Razzak’s record, who achieved it in 32 games.
1st ODI, January 15, Monday
171/2 in 28.3 overs (Tamim 84*, Shakib 37) beat Zimbabwe
170 in 49 overs (Raza 52, Shakib 3/43) by eight wickets
Shakib al Hasan (Bangladesh)
2nd ODI, January 17, Wednesday
278 in 48.1 overs (Kusal 80, Chatara 4/33) lost to Zimbabwe
290/6 (Raza 81*, Masakadza 73) by 12 runs
Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe)
3th ODI, January 19, Friday
157 in 32.2 overs (Shakib 3/47, Rubel 2/20) lost to Bangladesh
320/7 (Tamim 84, Shakib 67) by 163 runs
4th ODI, January 21, Sunday
202/5 in 44.5 overs (Kusal 49, Thisara 39*) beat Zimbabwe
198 in 44 overs (Taylor 58, Thisara 4/33) by five wickets
Thisara Perera (SL)
5th ODI, January 23, Tuesday
125 in 36.3 overs (Shakib 3/34, Mustafizur 2/16) lost to Bangladesh
216/9 (Tamim 76, Shakib 51) by 91 runs
Tamim Iqbal (Bangladesh)
6th ODI, January 25, Thursday
83 in 11.5 overs (Tharanga 39*, Gunathilaka 35*) beat Bangladesh
82 in 24 overs (Mushfiq 26, Lakmal 3/21) by 10 wickets
Suranga Lakmal (Sri Lanka)
Final, January 27, Saturday
142 in 41.1 overs (Mahmudullah 76, Madushanka 3/26) lost to Sri Lanka
221 (Tharanga 56, Rubel 4/46) by 79 runs
Upul Tharanga (SL)
WHAT DINESH CHANDIMAL SAID
We are over the moon. This is all about hard work, especially after losing the first two games, it is difficult to get back in this kind of tournament. The guys put their heart and soul in practice. And then when they went to the middle they put their heart and soul. They had the plans and executed well, and credit goes to everyone who played in the series.
WHAT MASHRAFE BIN MORTAZA SAID
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. But playing shots and picking singles, all of it can’t be one batsman’s work.