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Bangladesh in Sri Lanka - Review
27 Sep 2005
By: Alex Crampton

In a series overshadowed by the conclusion of the Ashes and the Chappell-Ganguly spat, Sri Lanka comfortably defeated Bangladesh in both the test and one day international series.

The tone for the series was set by the opening game, as Bangladesh, admittedly not at full strength, suffered a 10 wicket defeat against a Sri Lanka Cricket XI, which did feature several international players.

In the first ODI, debutant seamer Syed Rasel impressed, taking 2-42, but the target of 270 set by Sri Lanka was just too much for Bangladesh, who finished 88 runs short.

The second ODI was a similar story, with Sri Lanka totalling 295, with promising young opener Upul Tharanga scoring a century, and Bangladesh once again not being able to chase them down, 75 runs the margin of victory.

Rain affected the last One day match, but it could not save Bangladesh from a series whitewash, as after skittling their opponents for 108, Sri Lanka cruised home to their adjusted target of 106 with 25 overs and 6 wickets to spare.

The only match in which Bangladesh avoided defeat on the tour was their 3-day warm up match against a Sri Lanka Cricket Development XI, which finished as a draw. Syed Rasel impressed again, taking 4-85, and several of the batsmen made half-centuries.

The first test ended up as so many with Bangladesh have before. A good start on the first morning, reaching 124-2 at lunch was wasted, as they lost 5 wickets for 3 runs. Sri Lanka scored a decent total of 370, and completed the job on the third morning, bowling Bangladesh out for 86, and a victory of an innings and 96 runs.

A similar fate awaited Bangladesh in the second of the 2 tests. After reducing Sri Lanka to 48-4, Dilshan and Samaraweera both scored centuries, to lift Sri Lanka to 457-9. Both Bangladesh innings were not enough to match this, as they fell 69 runs short, capping off a tour labelled as 'worst tour since I took over as captain' by Habibul Bashar.

For Sri Lanka, it was an easy series, but they face some much tougher opposition next month, as they take on India away.

But for Bangladesh, this was yet another disappointing tour. When the captain says the tour was his worst ever, it is unlikely that many positives will have come out of it, but young seamers Shahadat Hossain and particularly Syed Rasel bowled well on this tour, and look good prospects for the future. Bangladesh still have a lot of work to do to reach the level of the other test nations, and that victory in Cardiff is starting to seem like a long time ago.

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