Bangladesh v Sri Lanka 2013-14 February 10, 2014

Sri Lanka's experienced hands lead from the front

Sri Lanka's marks out of ten, for the Test series against Bangladesh

10
Kumar Sangakkara (499 runs at 166.33)
Among the less-explored facts of Sangakkara's Chittagong performance was that he was on the field for all but 43 overs of the 437-over Test. That he is among the fittest members of the team at 36 is almost a more emphatic statement about his enduring hunger than his colossal returns. He was a constant source of encouragement to inexperienced batsmen at the other end, most memorably prodding Kaushal Silva through the 90s in Mirpur. When Silva reached his ton, Sangakkara celebrated with more vigour than he did at any of his own milestones. His massive run-haul also lifted him to No. 2 in the ICC's rankings of Test batsmen.

8
Mahela Jayawardene (286 at 143)

Continued his resurgence after a leaner patch in the second half of 2013, and was vocal in the field, which perhaps had a hand in the unprecedented creativity in Angelo Mathews' field placements. He flatly refused to criticise Bangladesh during the host's abject showing in Mirpur, and given Mathews' comments after the Chittagong Test, the captain might do well to learn lessons on grace and respecting opposition from Jayawardene as well.

7
Suranga Lakmal (7 wickets at 29.28)

Showcased a talent for reverse swing, as well as short-pitched bowling, and on a Chittagong wicket that gave no assistance, he willed himself to be miserly at the very least. His economy rate of 2.92 was the lowest for any bowler who delivered more than four overs in the series. Injuries had plagued the early stages of his career, but as he has now borne a heavy workload in five Test matches within six weeks, there are signs he can be the rock in Sri Lanka's pace attack.


6
Shaminda Eranga (5 wickets at 15)

More penetrative than Lakmal, but slightly less economical, Eranga has the makings of a decent attack leader. Was the best proponent of the short-ball attack plan in Mirpur, where rarely a spell was without menace. He will likely play first-class cricket once he recovers from the quadriceps injury that kept him out of the Chittagong Test. The England series will be a test of whether his average of 21.57 this year is an indication of his improvement.

Angelo Mathews (134 runs at 67, 1 wicket at 61)
Provided with the bat when he was required, which was rarely. His bowling was also serviceable when the quicks needed rest. Delaying declarations to allow batsmen to achieve milestones ran counter to statements that Sri Lanka are solely focused on the team's wellbeing, and showed a lack of killer instinct. But he set attacking, inventive fields in both Tests, particularly the second, and managed his attack with relative intelligence.

Dilruwan Perera (10 wickets at 32.80)
Claimed a maiden five-wicket haul on a pitch Sri Lanka had just mounted 730 on, and he bowled earnestly, if not always threateningly, in Chittagong. A very orthodox offspinner, with a classical action, he could do worse than learn the art of building Test match spells from Rangana Herath. He deserves a flight to England as the second spinner, in June.

5
Kaushal Silva (179 at 59.66)

Was short of his best form throughout the tour despite hitting a hundred - he was dropped twice in the innings. Still, no Sri Lanka batsman deserves a lucky streak more than Silva, given the path he has had to the top level. Continues to be sharp in close catching positions.

Dinesh Chandimal (167 at 83.50) The century in Chittagong will boost his confidence ahead of the limited-overs assignments in the subcontinent that have been the bane of his career so far. He did a decent job behind the stumps, though clearly not in Prasanna Jayawardene's league, having missed a clear chance and allowed 20 byes to slip past him in Chittagong. 


Kithuruwan Vithanage (138 runs at 138) Is now among the group of young players pushing for middle-order positions, particularly as he can bowl decent part-time legspin at a time when Sri Lanka's balance is slightly shaky. Made a maiden hundred, but he will face far stiffer challenges than those he encountered in Mirpur.

Ajantha Mendis (6 wickets at 26.66, 47 runs) A mystery even unto the selectors, Mendis' bowling in Chittagong was penetrative in the first innings, then woeful in the second. There is nothing to his game now that hasn't been there for some time, which suggests the better teams, who have played him well in Tests, will continue to do so. He should enjoy Bangladesh conditions in his more favoured formats over the next two months.

4
Dimuth Karunaratne (99 runs at 33)

More promising starts, more disappointing exits, Karunaratne has no trouble doing the hard work, but fails as consolidation beckons. He routinely plays big innings in first-class cricket, so it is unlikely to be a failure of concentration. Perhaps there is now a mental hurdle that must be overcome, as he seeks to make good on his talent.

Rangana Herath (3 wickets at 32.33)
He has not had one of his truly exceptional spells in some time, but perhaps of more concern is his recurring knee injury. Herath had long periods of rest before the tour of the UAE, but four Tests in quick succession was more than he could handle. The selectors will perhaps now be even more cautious about his workload, vital as Herath is to the side.

2
Nuwan Pradeep 



Asked to bowl on a surface completely unsuitable for his style of bowling, Pradeep followed up his best effort for Sri Lanka, in Dubai, with perhaps his worst Test so far. Bad days are forgivable for bowlers of his ilk, but an economy rate of 5.22 over almost 30 overs is pushing it.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy on February 10, 2014, 20:27 GMT

    Think Eranga deserves a 7 ifnot 7.5. Both Lakmal and Eranga were the reasons why SL won so convincingly in the first test. Pradeep sadly doesn't look test quality. Think Mathews needs to prepare himself fitness wise to bowl more in test cricket (15 overs a day) especially for conditions where Herath and Perera will look toothless. Sanga and Jaya seem to be in prime form

  • Dummy4 on February 10, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    I think sri lanka should go and put D perera in their line up vs England. Also I must say how impressive the SL pacers have been and are improving. The England tour is the right time to beat England.

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