Sri Lanka in Bangladesh 2013-14 February 18, 2014

Sri Lanka fightback impresses coach

Paul Farbrace, the Sri Lanka coach, was impressed with his team's ability to maintain emotional equilibrium that helped them edge past a belligerent Bangladesh team in a see-saw contest in Mirpur. Twice, on Monday, Sri Lanka fought back from difficult positions and ended up with a 13-run win in the first ODI.

"A lot of time is spent on talking about holding nerves," Farbrace said. "You should not get too excited when you're doing well, and don't get too down when you are not going well. You also need a bit of luck to go your way. There are small margins in international cricket."

Sri Lanka first staged a comeback, mainly through Thisara Perera's big hitting, from a wobbly 67 for 8. And then when Bangladesh had been on cruise control at 114 for two, their bowlers picked up the last eight wickets for only 53 runs.

"The great thing was that from 100-odd for two, I was very impressed how the boys fought, stuck at it, caught well and were disciplined in their bowling," Farbrace said. "The pressure forced the victory. There's quality in our batting too and it is not a time to panic. The boys are working hard in every session. We can ask the players to work as hard they can and if they don't, then you get tough on them."

Perera survived three dropped catches while Sachithra Senanayake, with whom he added 82 for the ninth wicket, was dropped once. Later, Shamsur Rahman suffered a freakish run-out, which turned the tide Sri Lanka's way.

But still, there were concerns about batting, especially after collapses in two consecutive matches. Farbrace, though, was unconcerned about the lack of runs from Sri Lanka's batsmen, and Dinesh Chandimal in particular. Chandimal scored a Test century but has now had three failures in a row.

"He [Dinesh Chandimal] showed glimpses of striking the ball well," Farbrace said. "He got a hundred in a Test match four innings ago. He scored five boundaries in that innings, which shows he is maturing as a player.

"He knocked the ball around and his partnership with Sangakkara got us in a position from where we couldn't lose a Test match."

Farbrace said the young batsmen, especially those who have to replace legendary names and careers, need a bit of time in international cricket to adjust their games to the team's needs.

"It is a bit like when Murali and Vaas were no longer in the bowling attack," he said. "It takes a while for the younger players. The previous coach Graham Ford said that all the time Mahela and Kumar Sangakkara are batting at 3 and 4, the likes of Chandimal and Mathews are batting at 5 and 6. Batting at 3-4 and 5-6 are different, you need time to adjust.

"They are intelligent lads. Kithuruwan Vithanage took the chance and scored a hundred in Dhaka. You have to give people time. Young guys don't become Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara overnight. You will never find another Murali, Vaas or Sanath. Young players take time to learn pressure of international cricket."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Android on February 19, 2014, 1:40 GMT

    I am not surprised because always pak srilanka and bangla like that

  • Rizwan1970 on February 19, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    It is grade to see couch Poul is working on psychological aspect of game playe, having a balance psychology while in the game can make SL a grade team.

  • chami on February 18, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    Excellent fight back ..., keep it up guys, but time to play some positive cricket , ... two many cross shots

  • Raj on February 18, 2014, 15:47 GMT

    The real test will be in the upcoming ASIA cup first and later the T20 world cup...they will face the big boys ..india and pakistan...especially against India which has dominated them so much that cricinfo called them india's favorite punching bag.

  • Dummy4 on February 18, 2014, 15:37 GMT

    There are so many players in our cricket system for an example there is player who playing baduraliya cricket club Andy solomon is a more than better player for the t20 format. even in the four day matches he was playing like a one day player. I dont know why is thirimanne in for the t20 squad instead for this players. In my openion our selecters shoud be more take care of this players otherwise we will loose great players for the future in cricket. please dnt give too many chances for a one player cos so many players knowking at the door currently

  • Jerry on February 18, 2014, 14:15 GMT

    SL must do a fair bit of changes in the ODI format. The mentality of the game in 50 overs is different to a T20. Should be able to consolidate and accumulate . To be 6 down for 68 is not the ideal scenario. The set batsmen seem to be getting out to reckless and unwarranted shots . Sweeping the spinners in Bangladesh pitches is just not necessary unless the ball is really going wide down the leg side and has no element of risk. Time to possibly drop players not in form . Chandimal has 2 more games and if does not get his act together , give another promising player an opportunity. Priyanjan, Angelo P or Vithanage can be tried instead .. We must learn to rotate the strike and just take the singles when boundaries are not coming , this way we do not need to put undue pressure on the batsmen at a later stage. Good luck and must try to win 3-0 vs BD . The real test of our strength and batting depth will be seen in our tour of England .. Vaas being appointed as the bowling coach works

  • nalin on February 18, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    This may not be Sri Lanka''s resolve that won but the lack of resolve with Bangaladesh. It takes maturity to create players such as Mahela and Sanga but the following are my future team of SL. 1.Karunaratne 2.Kusal Silva 3.Thirimanne 4.Chandimal 5.Kushal Perera 6.Angelo Mathews 7 Vithanage 8.Thisara Perera 9. Dhilruwan Perera 10.Eranga 11.Lakmal 12.Mendis and one to be left out depending the pitch.

  • Kaustav on February 18, 2014, 13:53 GMT

    Whatever be the opposition, one needs to admit that this is a young team for SL as well. Good resolve shown by them to hang in and not give up at any stage.

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