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April 14, 2007
While Bangladesh's senior team continued to create shock waves in the Caribbean, their A side had a somewhat disappointing tour of Sri Lanka where they were beaten convincingly in the two unofficial tests and the three one-day limited-overs matches.
Anura Tennekoon, the Sri Lanka A team manager and former Sri Lanka captain, felt that the series did not assess the real strength and weakness of the team. "It was a good achievement by our team to win both series but we should not go overboard with that success," said Tennekoon.
"I would like to see our team tested against better opposition like Australia, South Africa and India. The series gave us the opportunity to play some kind of cricket and an overall improvement of what we are doing," he said
Tenekoon said that the Bangladesh A side had some raw talent particularly in their batting order but added that they were not good at shot selection. "They play far too many shots too early."
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka A coach, Chandika Hathurusingha, was a lot more impressed by the opposition and stated that in the given conditions they were a better side than England A. "The opposition was not so bad as the scores suggested," said Hathurusingha. "We played exceptionally well."
Hathurusingha added that though Bangladesh A at times lacked intensity on the field They challenged Sri Lanka A in all aspects of the game except quality fast bowling.
In Tenekoon's opinion, Malinda Warnapura, Sri Lanka A's right-arm offbreak bowler, was the stand-out cricketer of the series. Warnapura, 27, represents Colombo Colts CC in the Premier tournament. He excelled in both forms of the game in the series reeling out a double-century (242) in the first unofficial test and then following it up with an undefeated 104 in the second unofficial ODI.
"He is more suitable for the longer game than the shorter one," said Tenekoon. "His strength is his mental ability to overcome different situations. He has the shots required to become a good batsman and he has the ability to pick the gaps.
"He has made all of his runs in the subcontinent in India and Sri Lanka. In the West Indies he was ill and missed most of the matches. It would be interesting to see how he would perform in countries like England, Australia and South Africa."
Tennekoon was also happy with the way Jehan Mubarak performed in the series. "He showed a little bit more consistency by scoring a few fifties. He seems to have improved from getting out in the 20s and 30s," he said. He also praised fast bowlers Akalanka Ganegama and Ishara Amarasinghe and felt they had shown the progress to become future regulars in the national team.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge