Bangladesh v SL, 2nd Test, Chittagong, 4th day

Declaration wasn't defensive - Silva

Andrew Fidel Fernando in Chittagong

February 7, 2014

Comments: 32 | Text size: A | A

Dinesh Chandimal pushes one on the off side, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Chittagong, 4th day, February 7, 2014
Sri Lanka declared after Dinesh Chandimal reached his century © AFP
Enlarge

Kaushal Silva denied suggestions Sri Lanka's declaration on the fourth day had been too conservative, after captain Angelo Mathews had allowed the lead to stretch to 466 before asking Bangladesh to bat again. Sri Lanka had only eight overs at the hosts before stumps were drawn, with all ten Bangladesh wickets intact for the final day.

The final phase of Sri Lanka's innings was ostensibly extended to allow Dinesh Chandimal to reach his third Test hundred, after a long stretch of relatively meagre results. Chandimal has a busy two months ahead, as he readies to lead Sri Lanka at the World Twenty20, having rarely done well in limited-overs cricket in the subcontinent. However, Sri Lanka's chief aim was to bat Bangladesh out of the match, Silva said.

"We wanted to get at least 450 on the board and then we know that they are out of reach of our target and we can put pressure and attack more," he said. "We have to first set a good target and balance the overs we have to bowl and the runs they have to score. We bowled eight overs today, and we have 90 overs tomorrow. Depending on how quickly we bowl, we can bowl over 100 overs. I think that's a good target for us to get them bowled out."

Sri Lanka had faced a similar quandary three weeks ago, during a Test match in Sharjah, where they had established a strong first-innings lead. They had set Pakistan 302 runs from 59 overs in that match, and the opposition orchestrated the fastest fourth-innings chase in history to inflict a dispiriting loss. Silva said memories of that experience would not haunt them against a belligerent Bangladesh top order in Chittagong.

"Whatever has happened has happened, you can't get it back," he said. "You have to think positively. Those two sessions [in Sharjah] went against us, but that won't happen all the time. Cricket is such a game you never know what will happen. We don't think about what has happened we just concentrate on the particular moment and on ourselves."

A pitch that has grown more susceptible to spin is expected to aid Sri Lanka. Ajantha Mendis had found appreciable turn off the surface to take 6 for 99 in the first innings, while offspinner Dilruwan Perera took three wickets.

"The pitch is not like the first innings - it has started to spin more," Silva said. "I think it will definitely be difficult for the Bangladesh batsmen. We have to be more patient and consistent on our line and length, and set a field according to our bowlers, especially our spinners."

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have scored 782 runs between them in the series, in six combined innings. Silva said their influence on Sri Lanka stretched far beyond their batting returns.

"They are two legends of the game," he said. "They have been in the team for nearly two decades. It's a great experience for all the youngsters in the team. Sometimes it's fun because out of the field they just act as normal human beings. Their ideas on the field also really help us."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

RSS Feeds: Andrew Fidel Fernando

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2014, 5:30 GMT)

if that is not case, then what?. hopefully you will not say- We are popularizing the test cricket but too afraid to lose.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2014, 4:21 GMT)

Once Sri Lanka tried to bat all 5 days of a Test match. I swear its true.

Posted by andrew-schulz on (February 8, 2014, 4:20 GMT)

It takes me back to Mahela Jayawardene's stupid comment after similarly defensive tactics resulted in a draw at Pallekelle in 2012against Pakistan: 'We won the series, didn't we?' This team is not interested in a 2-0 series win when 1-0 will do. Not only is this bad for the game, it sends a very timid message to any future opposition. The declaration was at least an hour too late, if you disagree with that you have rocks in your head. Since losing Murali and Malinga, this team needs to make the most of every winning opportunity. To not win against Bangladesh, especially when victory is within your grasp, is a poor result.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2014, 4:17 GMT)

@ Blade-Runner. I don't think anyone should really give much importance to what you say from now on. And I thought Angeloa√ł Mathews was in denial.

Posted by   on (February 8, 2014, 4:08 GMT)

Yeah right! Same old Sri Lankan negative cricket we have come to loathe.

@ Blade-Runner. Almost every Team plays without an important player due to injury or recent retirement.

Sri Lankan cricketers are always in denial. I thought nothing could beat Angelo's denial in the PAK series but this takes the cake.

Posted by Matadore on (February 8, 2014, 2:42 GMT)

@Blade-Runner, u'v no clue what u talking ab8.. 1 thing pretty clear.. after the lead reaching 370+.. bangladesh wont go for a victory.... they'll go for a draw.. so meaningless batting might cost SL.. Whats the result of such type of good batting? in the end.. its a draw!

Posted by Markus971 on (February 8, 2014, 1:15 GMT)

This is exactly the reason a points sytem should be introduced into Test Cricket, culminating in a Test World Championship! Reward the Test Teams that get Wins!! Why not declare aprox. 12 overs earlier, after Sanga scored His hundred!

Posted by Ranpa on (February 8, 2014, 0:18 GMT)

Critics will criticise one way or the other. If he declared earlier, they would criticise for being overconfident. I am sure this declaration has been made after some consultations, opinions from other team members and coaches. Wait and see what happens and then you have to withdraw the criticism.

Posted by Cricinbest on (February 7, 2014, 23:06 GMT)

Here I can see so many (e)cricketers and coaches have commented. I am very much surprised at that, they are not playing for their respective countries. Seems they are more good to play on the ground than on internet.

Posted by   on (February 7, 2014, 21:36 GMT)

Neville de Silva

Mathew being the new SL Captain - elect, is on his own learning curve. We Pandits from our arm-chairs, have not been to a single National Test pitch are over-critical of Mathew!! Give him that space and to learn as we all learn everyday from our own personal experiences. He has two very experienced 'diamonds' studded on his crown to date during these matches. Let us have patience for another day and pour in our appreciation rather than this criticisms that we love as envious human beings..Be impartial in your thinking and then beautiful sentences will flow.....

Posted by FawltyBean on (February 7, 2014, 20:53 GMT)

That was a perfect declaration. If anyone expected one around with a 300 lead they are mad. Chandimal should've gone for his 100 a little faster tho.

Posted by ModernUmpiresPlz on (February 7, 2014, 20:32 GMT)

@Blade-Runner Do you actually believe setting Bangladesh 466 runs in 98 overs isn't defensive? When was the last time you saw a team score 450 runs in a day of test cricket, let alone on a 5th day pitch. As for your other point about why take a risk when you're leading 1-0, that's basically the same as admitting it was defensive. "We were scared that Bangladesh might make an absolute miracle happen and level the series if we set a target that was even remotely possible like 400 on a 5th day wicket, so we wasted some of our time we would have had to get them out in order to make it completely impossible. We brought a draw solidly into play but at least we can't lose!" Sound about right?

Posted by earth_man on (February 7, 2014, 20:10 GMT)

The highest EVER successful 4th innings chase was 418. Which means, in the 2116 Test matches that were played in the 137 years of history of Test cricket, no team has come close to scoring 467 in such a situation. So it is safe to say that the decision was a very defensive one.

Posted by tushmath on (February 7, 2014, 19:09 GMT)

@Blade-Runner. Clearly since u r an expert on cricket. SL is soo defensive its painfully boring to watch them. It was awesome the way Pak chased them down in the final test despite their best efforts to kill cricket. "Without their top bowlers : Eranga and Herath.." but u expect a team who is at the bottom of the ICC to chase down 450 @ 5/over for 90 overs.

Posted by DarwinAkbar on (February 7, 2014, 18:48 GMT)

I think the timing of the declaration is appropriate. (i) Sri Lanka LOST to Pakistan only recently, in what should have been a stiff chase (ii) Yes we know it is Bangladesh. But with them, you just never know when they will blow hot or cold. They scored 400+ in the first innings. Sri Lanka doesn't have Murali any more. Had the declaration been made with a lead of, say, 400, and a day + 20 overs to get them, Bangladesh could win by virtue of surviving,as the runs would be a natural consequence of survival.

Posted by   on (February 7, 2014, 18:43 GMT)

Sri Lanka should have kept 120 overs to bowl at Bangladesh. Even if they gave a target of 400 it would still be defensive. An attacking target would have been anything less than 350. But I guess the nightmare against Pakistan and seeing Bangladesh improving each innings made them go on the backfoot. A loss against Bangladesh would have been too much of a risk to take I guess. Besides the Bangladesh 11 bats pretty deep with Nasir Hussain at number 7, Mahmudullah at number 8- a team that boasts 9 centurians. Can't believe only 98 overs were kept with a 460+ target so that Chandimal could get a century:P

Posted by gamunu2000 on (February 7, 2014, 18:38 GMT)

Looks like the Chittagong wicket hasn't deteriorate that much and the declaration is a pretty good one. SL is 1 up in the series and there is no need to take any unnecessary risk for the sake of it. Hopefully fifth day will provide interesting viewing.

Posted by Blade-Runner on (February 7, 2014, 17:57 GMT)

For all these geniuses who are saying that SL declaration was defensive, Sri Lanka are playing without their main strike bowlers - Eranga 'n Herath. So, why should Mathews take any risk when SL are already leading the series 1-0 ? I know some people are just trolling, some are ignorant, some don't have a clue what they are talking about.

Posted by Masking_Tape on (February 7, 2014, 17:34 GMT)

No. Trust me, this declaration is the MOST defensive declaration of last 10 years. Sri Lankans are so boring team

Posted by   on (February 7, 2014, 17:23 GMT)

I'm Sri Lankan and I'm completely baffled by what I've seen from Mathews as a captain so far. His captaincy led to the defeat against Pakistan from an impossible position, and now again he has waited too long with a defensive mind set. He needs to improve, fast.

Posted by Mfalme on (February 7, 2014, 17:14 GMT)

As SL innings was in progress I too thought declaration was a bit too late. But after having read various arguments here I am convinced that it was a wise declaration. 1) Chandimal will be captaining T20 team for the tournament in Bangla. After unimpressive performances it was an innings of substance. Definitely a long innings and a 100 would do a world of good for his confidence. So it was important for him to have a good innings than a SL 2-0 series win. If SL ensure a 1-0 it will still give them the series 2) None of us commenting here know the ground reality; how exactly was the wicket doing on the 4th day. He might be wrong but Mathews would have thought after the first innings bowling performance that his two spinners could win the match in less than 90 overs. I'm sure he would've heard a few other views before deciding. 3) It also gave Mathews an opportunity to play a long aggressive innings before the T20 tournment. Certainly Mathews must have looked beyond this test.

Posted by shockValue on (February 7, 2014, 17:13 GMT)

Mathews has always been the conservative type. Hope he learns with time

Posted by Mfalme on (February 7, 2014, 17:11 GMT)

As SL innings was in progress I too thought declaration was a bit too late. But after having read various arguments here I am convinced that it was a wise declaration. 1) Chandimal will be captaining T20 team for the tournament in Bangla. After unimpressive performances it was an innings of substance. Definitely a long innings and a 100 would do a world of good for his confidence. So it was important for him to have a good innings than a SL 2-0 series win. If SL ensure a 1-0 it will still give them the series 2) None of us commenting here know the ground reality; how exactly was the wicket doing on the 4th day. He might be wrong but Mathews would have thought after the first innings bowling performance that his two spinners could win the match in less than 90 overs. I'm sure he would've heard a few other views before deciding. 3) It also gave Mathews an opportunity to play a long aggressive innings before the T20 tournment. Certainly Mathews must have looked beyond this test.

Posted by wapuser on (February 7, 2014, 17:10 GMT)

Of course,the declaration was defensive. Also ,the writer's assertion that Sri Lanka had set Pakistan a target of 302 in 59 overs is not true. Sri Lanka did not set a target. They were bowled out. In fact Mathews had stated that his batsmen should have shown more patience implying that he had no intention of declaring as he was intent on securing a draw. He has declared here leaving absolutely no chance for a Bangladeshi win. If this is not a defensive declaration, then what target would he consider a defensive declaration? Excess of 500? And that too for Bangladesh For any other country maybe over 600?

Posted by neo-galactico on (February 7, 2014, 17:05 GMT)

Just when I thought Mathews has shown his worst he does one better. A new nadir for Sri Lanka. Why would SL need more than 400 against Bangladesh in th 4th innings? Why are subcontinental teams so obsessed with milestones and statistics? Sorry state of affairs this is

Posted by asiacricket1234 on (February 7, 2014, 16:51 GMT)

Are you kidding me? 350 would have been more than enough for you to win this test. 466 thats how many run SL though they need against Bangladesh? They wasted a lot of time. Well they are gonna win anyway because Bangladesh batsmen don't have the quality to survive that long so may be SL is safe this time but in future against other team they shouldn't go out with such defensive attitude

Posted by   on (February 7, 2014, 16:34 GMT)

It was the correct declaration. You are one up in the series, there is no reason to risk losing the series by giving Bangladesh plenty of time to bat and get the needed runs to win- admittedly a tall order. It is a different story if one had to win this match to win or even the series. Both Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara are not only great cricketers, but more importantly great people on and off the field and they have shown it year after year.

Posted by Ellis on (February 7, 2014, 16:18 GMT)

Mathews has to win the series. That is the driver behind the declaration. He has made a good declaration. This is Test Match cricket. Not bean bag. When you have the opposition down, keep them down. If Bangladesh want to draw the series, they should try hard to win the match. Sri Lanka gifted one match to Pakistan. They do not need to gift one to Bangladesh.

Posted by   on (February 7, 2014, 16:09 GMT)

I beg to disagree. In entire history of cricket, only two teams have chased a score of 350+. 466 clearly looks like a matter of personal goal. Most BD players are not mentally tough but if they management to bat all day, it would be seen as one of the worst captaincy decisions.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (February 7, 2014, 16:00 GMT)

Matthews should start following Clarke's captaincy skills

Posted by JoshFromJamRock on (February 7, 2014, 15:56 GMT)

The more i hear these players speak the more evident it becomes that they lack cricket intelligence. Bangladesh has never (I'm almost certain) scored 800 runs in Test match. 370, after Sanga made his 100 and Chandimal was 60+, should have been the target set from 110 overs. Would have made for an entertaining last day. Now Bangladesh will just bat to survive scoring at probably 2.5 RPO. Doubt Sri Lanka will win. Bangladesh surely will prefer 0-1 than 0-2 defeat.

Posted by   on (February 7, 2014, 15:19 GMT)

I think Metthews hve to learn he is defincve Captain 400 lead to much for Bangladesh personal milestone is not important ...

Comments have now been closed for this article

TopTop
Email Feedback Print
Share
E-mail
Feedback
Print
Andrew Fidel FernandoClose
Tour Results
India v Sri Lanka at Dhaka - Apr 6, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets (with 13 balls remaining)
Sri Lanka v West Indies at Dhaka - Apr 3, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 27 runs (D/L method)
New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Chittagong - Mar 31, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 59 runs
England v Sri Lanka at Chittagong - Mar 27, 2014
England won by 6 wickets (with 4 balls remaining)
Netherlands v Sri Lanka at Chittagong - Mar 24, 2014
Sri Lanka won by 9 wickets (with 90 balls remaining)
More results »
News | Features Last 3 days
News | Features Last 3 days