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Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Group F, Johannesburg
Tony Greig: Bangladesh will have learnt a lot
September 18, 2007
Tony Greig looks back on the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka encounter
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Tony Greig: "Dilhara Fernando is causing a lot of problems with his slower ball" © Getty Images

Akhila Ranganna: I'm joined by former England captain Tony Greig to look back on the Bangladesh-Sri Lanka encounter.

Tony, Bangladesh are all but out of the tournament but they can leave with their head held high - they have put in some creditable performances?

Tony Greig: I think the feature of their play has been that they have been quite exciting at times. And then for some reason they fell asleep for a couple of games with the bat. I think they have learnt a fair bit from this tournament. But as far as this game was concerned they were really out of it with the bat.

AR: Once again it was tight bowling and fielding by Bangladesh that helped them restrict a strong Sri Lankan batting line-up to 147...

TG: Yes and they certainly backed their bowlers in the field. They were full of enthusiasm and you have got to bear in mind that they are under 25 years of age and that does say something about their experience or, if you like, the lack of it.

AR: One of Sri Lanka's strengths is that they bat deep and today it was Tillakaratne Dilshan and Jehan Mubarak who bailed them out of trouble...

TG: They certainly put on a good undefeated partnership. It was a bad day at the top end though; Sanath Jayasuriya doesn't get out for a duck quite often and that gave them the wobbles. Kumar Sangakkara got 20; I thought today was going to be his big day; he's had a disappointing tournament so far. But they all made 20s and 30s but it was that good partnership in the end that had a bit of flair that managed to get them to 147 and into safe territory.

AR: Bangladesh would have harboured hopes of chasing down the total, but the pressure applied by the Sri Lankan bowlers was relentless, particularly Chaminda Vaas...

TG: He's a class act and he was beautifully backed up by Dilhara Fernando - he's bowling superbly and causing a lot of problems with his slower ball. Vaas always creates problems with that late swing of his and they were a cut above. And even though Muttiah Muralitharan is not there, they have some good back-up bowlers. Thankfully Jayasuriya today didn't get carted all over the ground.

AR: Sri Lanka now play Australia - a must-win encounter for both teams. How do you see that encounter panning out?

TG: It's very hard to separate these two teams but the Australians could pull something out of their hat for the big game. But in this Twenty20 format it's hard to predict anything, anything can happen. But if you go for man for man and experience, someone like Adam Gilchrist could perform well against Sri Lanka - though am sure the Lankans will be hoping otherwise- but am sure one of them will pull something out of the hat. If I was forced to put money on one of the sides it would have to be Australia.

AR: England had a good outing in the 50 over format against India, but that team seems to have fallen to pieces here in the Twenty20 format...

TG: They've been disappointing and I think it's due to the fact that Kevin Pietersen hasn't had a great outing apart from one good knock and also because Andrew Flintoff is still clearly not alright - he's still got problems with his ankle. And while Darren Maddy played very well in the game against New Zealand - he was unlucky not to win the Man-of-the-Match award - overall they've been disappointing.

They've decided to adopt a slightly different approach. They've got in players who have done well in the domestic scene and I that makes a difference - you have to step up and if you haven't been there before it's not an easy thing to do. England will be disappointed with their performance.

AR: Thank you Tony for your views.

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