Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur

Bangladesh relying on team effort, not individuals

The hosts' performances in this Asia Cup have been built on many players contributing rather than solo efforts. They will hope for another all-round showing as they attempt to reach just their second tournament final

Siddarth Ravindran

March 19, 2012

Comments: 114 | Text size: A | A

Mushfiqur Rahim jumps on Mahmudullah after Bangladesh's win, Bangladesh v India, Asia Cup, Mirpur, March 16, 2012
Mushfiqur Rahim was one of several players who stepped up for Bangladesh in the match against India © AFP
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The only time Bangladesh have reached the final of a one-day tournament, it was through a powerhouse effort from Shakib Al Hasan that helped them beat Sri Lanka. Bangladesh have already turned in two strong performances in the Asia Cup, neither of which have been the result of a dazzling solo effort. Instead, it has been a series of contributions that has helped them stay in the game.

When Tamim Iqbal, looking to shake off a poor run with the bat and the controversy over his selection in the squad, was taking his time at the start of the chase against Pakistan, the usually staid Nazimuddin went for his strokes. Even earlier, when their bowlers toiled without success against the Pakistan openers, some tigerish fielding ensured there were no free runs.

Against India, despite facing a difficult target, Bangladesh successfully pulled off the chase, as for the first time in their history five batsmen scored more than 40 in an ODI. When Shakib Al Hasan fell for a momentum-shifting 49 to a tight stumping call from the third umpire, some wondered whether Bangladesh could cope with the blow, but Mushfiqur Rahim and Nasir Hossain showed they could.

Fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza called for another team effort in the crunch game against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. "We are not the sort of team that can rely on one or two players," he said. "We need five-six players to do well, like they did against India. I think all of us have the ability to do just that once again."

Mortaza was aware how enormous an achievement it would be if Bangladesh qualify, but was also keen not to add to the pressure on the team. "Before the tournament began I said that we are not here to play the finals, just play good cricket," he said. "We have arrived at this situation after beating India. We will play like we had planned ahead of the tournament, that'll take us ahead."

Sri Lanka were captained by Mahela Jayawardene during the 2009 defeat as well, and he said the Bangladesh team had developed since. "The last time they beat us, I remember somebody asking me if this is a different Bangladesh team," Jayawardene said. "A lot of the younger guys who started four years ago are now mature players; they're experienced. Some of the youngsters they have got in the side are really good talents. They've got a good balanced side, and a couple of good matchwinners as well. That's what you need in a team."

Bangladesh have traditionally been the weakest of the four subcontinent teams, but their recent form made Jayawardene wary. "They've been playing some good cricket in the last few games," he said. "We know that they are a strong team and they know what they need to do. We won't be complacent; we want to finish the tour on a high."

There has been speculation that Sri Lanka will rest their injury-prone pace spearhead, Lasith Malinga, given the heavy workload over the past couple of months and the fact that the match against Bangladesh is a dead-rubber for Sri Lanka. Jayawardene, though, hinted that Malinga would play. "We'll try and play the strongest possible team we can come up with, given the conditions and opposition."

The pitch at the Shere Bangla has generally been batsmen-friendly, easing up further under lights. "It looks like a really good surface," Jayawardene said. "Teams are chasing down big scores. Still there's something for the spinners and pacers. I think it's a good one-day wicket."

In the 2009 match, the track had provided plenty of assistance to the bowlers, with Sri Lanka getting shot out for 147. Bangladesh in reply had tumbled to 11 for 3, before Shakib bailed them out. Mohammad Ashraful had called it their best victory, but they are now presented with an opportunity, against an already eliminated opposition which has spent months on the road, to top that effort.

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by sk12 on (March 20, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

hahaha.. looking at the comments below, today's result was the ideal one to make most people happy. Indians are happy that SL has lost another match and subsequently whitewashed, SLs are happy that Indians are kicked out of the finals, and Bangladeshis are obviously estactic that they qualifed. I am actually happy that our Indian team can now get few additional rest days before the IPL, albeit I might not see Sachin again in ODIs. Well played Bangladesh - but you could do much better in tightening up your batting (reg some shot selections).

Posted by getsetgopk on (March 20, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

@DJ_Priyank: Team India has reduced to these one off's of late, they did something like that against sri lanka in CB series and now here against pakistan but guess what they didn't make it to the final then and they didn't make it to the final here, India beat Pakistan in 92 WC but no body remembers 92 for that now do they? Time to pack up and leave, you shall not have the honors of playing the final.

Posted by   on (March 20, 2012, 18:36 GMT)

I dont understand why some pakistani supporters saying that they wanted india in the final....comn guys be frank.Your team can never beat india.Only us the BD team has some chances of defeating the indians.

Posted by Pane on (March 20, 2012, 18:18 GMT)

Bye Bye India, hope enjoyed the summer

Posted by My-Dear-Watson on (March 20, 2012, 18:17 GMT)

Though, I am a bit disappointed being an Indian Fan, but I think rise of Bangladesh is a very good sign for world cricket. All the best for them for finals, I do hope they win it as well, it will not be a surprise if they keep up the good work they are doing.

Posted by Mannix16 on (March 20, 2012, 18:16 GMT)

You really have to ask yourself.... Sri Lanka have been continuously playing ODI's since December. They have 2 HUGE injuries (Perera and Matthews) and have rested their best spinner Rangana Herath. Mahela is not a stupid guy. It seems that he has placed the England Series above Asia Cup (only 6 matches?????). Now that they lost, they can go home and concentrate on beating the English. Sad fact is, a countries greatness doesn't rely on smashing India or other subcontinent teams. You have to do good against England/Australia to earn a good reputation. Mahela might be planning for just that.

Posted by WickyRoy.paklover on (March 20, 2012, 18:15 GMT)

I m from pak,well done bangla congrats!but i guess final got less excited now.SL GOT BEATEN BY ALL TEAMS IN THS TOURNAMNT ,BUT THS DOES NOT SUGEST THAT THEY R MINNOWS,THEY R ONE F BST IN ASIA ALONG IND,PAK. SL R JUST LIKE OUR BROTHERS AND WE WOULD KEEP SUPORTING THEM EVRY WHERE N EVERY TIME.SO GO LANKANS GO N THRASH ENG

Posted by   on (March 20, 2012, 18:13 GMT)

deserving final for Bangladesh. Seems upcoming asian giant. those who ignore, please show some respect...

Posted by   on (March 20, 2012, 18:11 GMT)

INDIA SUFFERED AS THEY PLAYED THIS TOURNAMENT FOR TENDULKAR*********************** THEY PLAYED AGAINST BANGLADESH FOR TENDULKAR'S 100,,, HE GOT IT******************** THEY WON AGAINST PAKISTAN AS TENDULKAR WANTED TO SHOW THE WORLD THAT HE IS NOT EXPIRED YET****************** INDIA AT LEAST DID WOT THEY WANTED TO DO******************************* HAD THEY TRIED TO WIN THE TOURNAMENT, THEY CUD HAVE DONE IT TOO BUT .........................

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (March 20, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

LOL @ Madhav. Why would Sri Lanka be stripped of their test nation status? They aren't the ones who are 8-0 so far

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Tournament Results
Bangladesh v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 22, 2012
Pakistan won by 2 runs
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 20, 2012
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets (with 17 balls remaining) (D/L method)
India v Pakistan at Dhaka - Mar 18, 2012
India won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
Bangladesh v India at Dhaka - Mar 16, 2012
Bangladesh won by 5 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
Pakistan v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Mar 15, 2012
Pakistan won by 6 wickets (with 61 balls remaining)
More results »
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