DHAKA, Bangladesh are no longer a pushover for Sri
Lankan after the 2015 World Cup when their cricketing renaissance actually
began. Since then two sides met each other seven times in ODI with both the
side winning identical three matches while the other match was abandoned.
The Tigers remained unbeaten against Sri Lanka in the last three matches
across the formattwo in T20s and one in an ODI in Dubai in Asia Cup last
year, which was their last meeting.
While the Tigers has grown up in strength to strength while Sri Lanka are
going through a long transitional period because of the retirement of the
players like Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawarden, Tilkaratne Dilshan.
Sri Lanka's continuous downfall in ODI format pushed them to 9th in the
rankings when Bangladesh are placed at 7th spot. As Sri Lanka's downfall
continues in World Cup too. Having lost to New Zealand by 10 wickets after
being skittle out for 136 runs, they narrowly escaped an Afghanistan
juggernaut, winning the match by 34 runs thanks to D/L method.
In the match against Afghanistan, Sri Lanka lost nine wickets for 57 runs
after a sedate start, exposing their middle vulnerability. Their third match
against Pakistan was washed out.
In comparison, Bangladesh started the tournament in dominating fashion,
beating South Africa by 21 runs after posting their ODI highest 3306. They
also put up spirited performance against New Zealand before losing the match
by two wickets while against England they were little bit off colour.
If the recent performance and stat is taken into consideration, Bangladesh
will come up against Sri Lanka on Tuesday as absolute favourite. But again
there is some doubt only because of Chandika Hathurusingha, the man under
whose supervision, Bangladesh emerged as true giants.
Hathurasungha had coached Bangladesh team for three years from 20142017.
He is aware of the Tigers ins and outs other than anyone else because most of
the players in Bangladesh's World Cup squad were nursed by him.
During his stint, he worked with every Bangladeshi players' strength and
weakness before he abruptly ended the contract with the BCB to join his
country Sri Lanka's coaching job.
Under his guidance Sri Lanka played against Bangladesh four ODIs and won
two and lost two T20 matches. So it looked Hathurusingha's presence in Sri
Lanka dressing room didn't come up as much damaging for Bangladesh.
First time when Hathurusingha met Bangladesh with his Lankan side in a tri
nation series, the Tigers demolished them by 163 runs but Hathurusingha's
vast knowledge on Mashrafe's side came to the fore when they beat Bangladesh
by 10 wickets in returnleg match and then by 79 runs in the final to deprive
Bangladesh being champions in the trination series at their own soil.
Then in Nidahas trophy T20 in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka twice,
thanks to some unbelievable batting performance from Mushfiqur Rahim and
In Asia in Dubai in 2018, Bangladesh however beat Sri Lanka by 137 runs,
courtesy to Mushfiqur Rahim's careerbest 144.
As Bangladesh is expected to beat Sri Lanka once again, question came to
fore, can Hathurusingha swivel his magic to beat his former charges?
Time and again, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza had to deal with such question whether
Hathurusingha's presence in Lanka dressing room is disadvantage for them. He
also had to face this question ahead of the World Cup when Bangladesh
publicly revealed that they are expecting to beat Sri Lanka.
Haven't we already proved, Mashrafe answered with counter question.
Hathurusingha knows many things about us but we also know about Sri Lanka.
It will be a good contest but if we play to our true potential we can beat
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)