Bangladesh’s fragile batsmen caved in for the second time in the game to hand Sri Lanka a massive innings and 248-run victory inside four days in the first Test in Dhaka on Thursday.
Tired after spending nearly two days in the field, the Tigers appeared numb in their thinking, evident in their mindless batting performance in the second innings.
Despite having to bat more than two days to save the game, they showed no intent to do so and batted rather aggressively, finally getting dismissed for 250 runs before the second session on the fourth day was complete.
They scored at nearly five runs an over, which is difficult to explain given the situation they were in. Not a single batsman tried to build an innings or a partnership – a basic requirement in Test cricket.
Building partnerships was even more crucial as this would have been the only way to frustrate Sri Lanka in a game they had dominated from the very beginning. Sadly, Bangladesh’s highest second-innings partnership of 53 runs came only for the 10th wicket, from Al-Amin Hossain and Rubel Hossain.
Some swing-and-miss batting by Al-Amin (32 not out) and Rubel (17) helped Bangladesh reach the 250-run mark and reduce the margin of defeat, but in a greater sense it was insignificant, as the result indicated Bangladesh have yet to learn some of the basic rules of Test cricket.
In a week when their Test status was heavily debated in the international forum, they returned to the same old habits that saw them hitting one or two boundaries before throwing away their wickets.
The wicket, which was brilliant for batting, perhaps encouraged them to have a go at every ball, but they paid the price. The main beneficiary of the Tigers’ flawed approach was Dilruwan Perera, who finished with 5-109 in only his second Test.
Shaminda Eranga and Suranga Lakmal complemented Perera to make the job easy for the tourists; so much so that Sri Lanka did not need to use their main spinner Rangana Herath for more than nine overs.
Resuming on 35-1, opener Shamsur Rahman was dismissed off the second ball of the day, fending at a vicious short ball from Eranga and edging a catch to wicket-keeper Dinesh Chandimal.
Number three Marshal Ayub scored 18 before he gloved a bouncer from Suranga Lakmal to Kaushal Silva at short-leg as Bangladesh slipped to 50-3.
The hosts reached 102 before Perera broke through by trapping Sakib al Hasan leg-before for 25.
Mominul reached his third Test fifty off 52 balls and hit Perera for 13 runs in an over along the away, but the bowler had the last laugh when he struck him on the backfoot for a plumb lbw.
Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim was bowled by Perera for 14 off what became the last ball of the session, leaving Bangladesh 150-6.
Lakmal ended an enterprising knock by Sohag Gazi (23) after the break, before Perera scalped Nasir Hossain (29) and Rubel to complete his five-wicket haul and seal the contest.
Bangladesh 2nd innings 250 in 51.5 overs (Mominul 50, Al-Amin 32 not out, Nasir 29, Gazi 23; Perera 5-109, Lakmal 3-39) and 1st innings 232 (Mushfiq 61, Sakib 55, Gazi 42, Eranga 4-49, Lakmal 3-66) v Sri Lanka 1st innings 730-6 dec (M Jayawardene 203 not out, K Silva 139, K Vithanage 103 not out, A Mathews 86, K Sangakkara 75, Karunaratne 53; Sakib 3-159).
Result: Sri Lanka won by an innings and 248 runs.
Man of the match: M Jayawardene (SL)
-With New Age input