If Tamim Iqbal gets going.

That is the essence of a conversation between two people in the press box. The conversation is longer than Tamim's innings.

A photo of Tamim facing Lasith Malinga would have looked fairly close to perfect. He was on the front foot, his bat and pad were together, and the full face of the bat was right there. It was only the ball that made him look silly. The ball came into him, yet Tamim missed it on the outside of his bat. It was actually hard to tell if Tamim was leaving or playing, he was so far inside the ball. Had the stumps not been taken down, people might have assumed it was a good leave.

That was, and maybe is, Bangladesh. A team that looks good at times, but ultimately, the stumps are broken. If only.


A short, dangerous gully, and a short catching mid-off is just a part of Bangladesh's plan to dismiss Lahiru Thirimanne.

It looks good, but actually Thirimanne keeps edging behind. One is dropped by slip. Another is not attempted by Mushfiqur Rahim behind the stumps. Later, Mushfiqur misses a stumping as well. While the edges and general edginess of Thirimanne continues, the slips aren't added too, or even restructured. There is a hint of a good idea, some very decent new ball bowling, and a bunch of missed opportunities.

Eventually Bangladesh do take Thirimanne, but by then, the match is all but gone. If only they had taken him early.

Bangladesh look fit. They look fit, and they look young. They look fit, they look young, they look well drilled. But they don't always field like those three things. They should be, at worst, a competent fielding side. They often aren't. On top of the several missed chances, they added shoddy ground fielding.

They missed and fumbled simple balls, and at one stage, a shy at the stumps is backed up, but the fielder backing up is not actually watching, and so Sri Lanka collect some extra runs. It is not always like this, but today it is like this, all day. If only they had held their chances, kept the pressure on, and made Sri Lanka take more risks.

The Bangladeshi plan is obvious, they have their men all out on the leg side, they have their men up on the offside. They try to bowl to that plan, but Sri Lanka keep hitting through and over the off side. Conferences are had, bowlers, captains and leaders discuss this plan.

They stick with it, and the Sri Lankans stick with theirs of backing away and hitting the ball through the off side. The Sri Lanka batsmen know the plan, they see the plan, they react to the plan, and the Bangladeshis let them. If only Bangladesh had practiced their plans better.


There is a Bangladesh woman in the crowd who looks close to tears. She wears a Bangladesh t-shirt and face paint. She holds her hands over her mouth as Mominul Haque walks off. Mominul has played two horrendous cut shots. One was reviewed by Sri Lanka, the other was caught by Sri Lanka. In Test cricket, Mominul averages 63. He averages over 50 both home and away against Sri Lanka in Tests. But in ODIs, he more often than not only makes women almost cry. If only he could turn his Test form into ODI results.

A six from Anamul Haque gets the Bangladeshi press core screaming in the box. Unfortunately, there are few, virtually no other scream-worthy moments from him. Anamul spends most of his time at the crease scoring to fine-leg and facing dot balls. One over from Herath, he faces five balls without a run, and then pushes one off the last ball to take the strike.

It was almost as if he was trolling his team-mates. Recently, Anamul said "Even if I am wasting balls, my team's score crosses the 250-mark when I am in the middle".

Here, they needed well over 300 and it's hard to see how they will do it as his 43 balls have produced only two boundaries. And he appears allergic to rotating the strike. Eventually Anamul is run out, oddly attempting a single for the non-striker. If only he had more experience taking ODI singles.


Shakib al Hasan plays back to a ball he should have come forward to from Dilshan. Somehow, the ball doesn't bowl him. In the confusion, Sangakkara fumbles it. Mushfiqur Rahim sets off and almost causes a run-out. In what was one of the straightest, easiest balls to face in human history, Bangladesh have manufactured two chances for wickets for Sri Lanka. And not just two normal batsmen, their best two ODI batsmen, sitting far enough down the order that by the time they come in, their chances of winning are non-existent. If only they had batted when it mattered.

On Twitter, R Ashwin gushes, "My god this guy Soumya sarkar looks a solid bat". He looks more than solid; he looks explosive and full of boundaries. As much as you can when you only face 15 balls. Soumya hints at something special. Soumya is out shortly after. He often is. In three ODIs, he has scored, 20, 25 and 28. His ODI career is 58 balls long. Twelve of them have gone to the rope, one more over them. If he ever stays in. If he ever stays around. If he ever builds on his house of dynamite.


Jarrod Kimber is a writer for ESPNcricinfo. @ajarrodkimber