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News

Bangladesh 'pay the price' for multiple dropped catches as Sri Lanka take control

Bowling coach Andre Adams also reckons the team needs to find a method to take better reviews, rather than rely on emotions

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
30-Mar-2024
The Bangladesh fielders had a tough day on the opening day of the second Test  •  AFP/Getty Images

The Bangladesh fielders had a tough day on the opening day of the second Test  •  AFP/Getty Images

Bangladesh's poor catching once again brought about their undoing as Sri Lanka took the opening day honours in the second Test in Chattogram. The hosts spilled three chances on the first day which saw Sri Lanka close the day on 314 for 4.
Mahmudul Hasan Joy, at second slip, dropped Nishan Madushka in the sixth over of the day. Sri Lanka were 13 for 0 at that time; the openers ended up adding 96. Mahmudul had also dropped Kamindu Mendis before he opened his account in the first innings of the first Test in Sylhet, with Sri Lanka on 37 for 4. Mendis and captain Dhananjaya de Silva went on to add 202 runs for the sixth wicket forming the crux for a big win.
Shakib Al Hasan then dropped Dimuth Karunaratne on 22, when he misjudged the left-hander's top edge at deep fine leg. Karunaratne, who had earlier survived a run-out chance on 18, went on to make 86. Later in the day, Shahadat Hossain dropped Angelo Mathews at slip, when he was on 10.
Bangladesh bowling coach Andre Adams admitted that while the team works hard on their fielding and catching, these chances end up being costly.
"You will struggle if you drop catches in any game of cricket," Adams said. "Our fielding has been impressive since I have joined Bangladesh. Our ground fielding is excellent. There have been some excellent catches. However, when you drop a catch early, you can pay the price. We have dropped too many catches. We are working on it. Nobody means to drop it. They are doing the work, but they are dropping catches. We have to continue to work on taking catches."
Adams also said that Bangladesh needed to find a method to take better reviews, rather than rely on emotions. In the 44th over, captain Najmul Hossain Shanto asked for a review, evidently for an lbw appeal, when Kusal Mendis had in fact middled the ball.
"It is something that we are discussing. We are not really good with reviews. That's very clear. So far, we have been awful. We have to develop a much better method. That's completely under the captain and wicketkeeper. Maybe the point fielder. The one we are using isn't working," Adams said.
"I think we are probably emotions rather than facts at the moment. It was straight off the middle of the bat, so it is not a great review. I also don't want people to be afraid to take reviews. We just have to find a better method."
The new bowling coach was, however, impressed with the way Hasan Mahmud made his first foray into Test cricket. The 24-year-old finished with figures of 2 for 64, but also suffered two dropped chances off his bowling. Adams was also excited with Nahid Rana's start to his Test career in Sylhet.
"The young bowlers on debut were excellent. Rana was really good in the last Test. His desire stands out. He wants to compete. He doesn't back down," Adams said. "Hasan was excellent today. He bowled with pretty good control. He is a young bowler. Lots of talent. I am excited about them. Under Khaled Ahmed's leadership, they have a good chance of developing."
Bangladesh have a lot of work left on the second day and Adams admitted that unless the bowlers string together good spells, they could be in for a tough time. "We have to bowl really well tomorrow morning. Much better than today, for longer periods. They have two very good batters at the crease. They have one more very good player. Then we can put some pressure on them. We have seen in the past that if you are not good enough for long periods, they will take the game away from you," he said.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka opener Dimuth Karunaratne said that the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury surface wasn't as batting-friendly as previous years when Bangladesh and Sri Lanka played out high-scoring draws at this venue.
"It is not easy to bat here. When you see the last few years, it was flat from the first over. Here, there's movement for the fast bowlers; it is tough in the first few overs. Then we have to go out there and play more defensively," Karunaratne said.
"Once the ball gets softer, we can get some runs. Spinners bowled really well, but there wasn't much on offer for them because it was the first day. Maybe later it will be a good wicket for the bowlers as well."
Sri Lanka have also picked one specialist spinner in Prabath Jayasuriya in their playing XI, but Karunaratne believed that was a fair call as their fast bowlers have often got them the wickets in Bangladesh. "If you take the past records, we got more wickets by using fast bowlers. We have the confidence. The wicket is flat but there is some movement. There are some cracks open. We have some good fast bowlers who can bowl 140kph, and bowl accurate bouncers as well," he said.
"That's why we are playing three seamers, so that they can come back fresh every time and be a huge problem for Bangladesh. We have Kamindu Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva, who can bowl spin. We know that we can get 20 wickets".

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84