Coming into the island nation, the Bangladesh batting has been left exposed in the first two matches, particularly the top-order
Bangladesh went to Sri Lanka for the three-match ODI series with a confident batting line-up.
The side were driven with confidence from the performance in the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
The Tigers in the 10-nation tournament smashed records with the willow, which include chasing down the highest total in the event’s history – 322 against the West Indies.
However, coming into the island nation the Bangladesh batting has been left exposed in the first two matches, particularly the top-order.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim came to the rescue in both the games, scoring 67 in the first and remaining unbeaten on 98 to aid Bangladesh put a defendable 238 in the second ODI Sunday.
But it cannot overshadow the concern that exists in the Bangladesh dressing room.
Mushfiq on the day went to bat with Bangladesh reeling on 31 for two in 8.1 overs, and took charge to revive the innings.
Bangladesh finish their innings on 238/8 in Colombo!— ICC (@ICC) July 28, 2019
Mushfiqur Rahim was the star with the bat as he finished the innings just two runs short of a century. A fabulous knock.
Follow #SLvBAN live 👇https://t.co/XmA3XuEN7g pic.twitter.com/ykZ8avLtOg
The right-handed batsman shared five 20-plus partnerships.
It was with Mehedi Hasan Miraz however, that the “pocket rocket” had made the most contribution for the team, adding 84 for the seventh wicket.
Miraz departed scoring 43 but Mushfiq continued strong to go on the verge of his eighth ODI hundred.
However, fate denied the Bangladesh batsman as he fell two runs short of the milestone with the 50 overs getting completed.
Mushfiq was on 80 with two overs left in the innings.
With tail-enders as partners, Mushfiq in the 49th over ensured to keep most of the strike, and hit two consecutive boundaries in the third and fourth ball of the over.
While in the fifth, he slammed a maximum to take his score to 95.
6000 ODI runs for Mushfiqur Rahim. What a player he has been for Bangladesh!!#SLvBAN— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) July 28, 2019
With five runs needed for glory from the last over, Mushfiq in the first ball was dropped by Sri Lanka wicket-keeper Kusal Perera and had gone for a single.
With Taijul Islam on strike in the next delivery, Mushfiq went for a desperate run from the non-striker’s end, only to find Taijul short of the crease.
Of the remaining four deliveries, Mushfiq faced two but could only get two singles from each.
The three previous occasions Mushfiq fell agonizingly short of the three-figure landmark was when he made 98 against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2009, 90 against New Zealand in Dhaka in 2013 and 99 against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi last year.
The openers in the shape of Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar had struggled throughout the World Cup but then they had a Shakib al Hasan in blistering form to revive the innings.
In Colombo, the openers’ struggle continued but with Shakib on leave, the job at No 3 was given to Mohammad Mithun.
The right-handed batsman had built some expectation with a 91-run innings in the practice game, but not when it mattered.
Despite having top-order batting experience, Mithun could score only 10 and 12 runs in the first and second game respectively.
However, the concern has been bigger with Tamim, Soumya and Mahmudullah.
Tamim, the stand-in captain for the series, in the two matches has scored only 19 and got bowled out on each occasion.
He has been dismissed in this fashion in his last six innings.
With Tamim, the discussion has been simply for not being able to deliver to his standard.
In the last 10 ODIs, Tamim has scored 254 runs with 62 against Australia in the World Cup as the highest.
The southpaw carries the badge of the best opener for the country but he has not been able to deliver when it mattered the most, in the World Cup, and is still struggling to come to terms with it.
Congratulations to @mushfiqur15 for becoming the 3rd Bangladeshi batsman to score 6000 runs in ODIs during his unbeaten knock of 98 today against Sri Lanka.#BANvSL #RiseOfTheTigers pic.twitter.com/b55Do3LrXr— Bangladesh Cricket (@BCBtigers) July 28, 2019
Occasions have been many when Tamim was seen bouncing back with his backs against the wall, and something similar was being expected when the team travelled to the island.
Getting starts has been a problem for the Bangladesh opener.
In most of the innings, he got off the mark decently but failed to build the innings.
With Soumya the picture is somewhat similar to Tamim, of having scored three half-centuries in 16 ODIs while his senior partner played 17 this year.
Soumya was on fire in the tri-nation ODI series in Ireland before the World Cup but since then he has been dealing with the pale patch.
For Mahmudullah, the middle order batsman, due to combination in the team has been promoted to bat at No 5 in Sri Lanka, the batter’s preferred spot.
But he has failed to cash in on it.
In the first game, the right-handed batsman scored just three before giving his wicket away with an ambitious shot to third-man while in the second match, he was beaten by Akila Dananjaya’s spin, and walked back to the dressing room scoring six.
As far as the year is concerned, Mahmudullah in 14 innings has scored just one fifty, against Australia in the World Cup.
BANGLADESH INNINGS R B
Tamim b Udana 19 31
Soumya lbw b Pradeep 11 13
Mithun c Mendis b Dananjaya 12 23
Mushfiq not out 98 110
Mahmudullah b Dananjaya 6 18
Sabbir run out 11 19
Mosaddek c Kusal b Udana 13 27
Miraz c Karunaratne b Pradeep 43 49
Taijul run out 3 9
Mustafizur not out 2 2
Extras (b3 lb4, w12, nb1) 20
Total (50 overs) 238/8
Fall Of Wickets
1-26 (Soumya), 2-31 (Tamim), 3-52 (Mithun), 4-68 (Mahmudullah), 5-88 (Sabbir) 6-117 (Mosaddek), 7-201 (Miraz), 8-231(Taijul)
De Silva 10-0-39-0 (w1), Pradeep 10-0-53-2(w1, nb1), Udana 10-0-58-2(w1) Kumara 10-0-42-0(w3), Dananjaya 10-0-39-2 (w2)
SRI LANKA INNINGS R B
Fernando c Tamim b Mustafizur 82 75
Karunaratne b Miraz 15 29
Kusal c Soumya b Mustafizur 30 34
Mendis not out 41 74
Mathews not out 52 57
Extras (b 4, lb 5, nb 1, w 12) 22
Total (44.4 Overs) 242/3
Fall Of Wickets
1-71 (Karunaratne), 2-129 (Fernando), 3-146 (Kusal)
Miraz 10-0-51-1, Shafiul 5-0-29-0, Taijul 10-2-35-0, Mustafizur 8-0-50-2, Mosaddek 7-0-32-0, Sabbir 2.4-0-20-0, Soumya 2-0-16-0
Sri Lanka won by seven wickets
MoM: Avishka Fernando