Saturday, 24 January 2009

Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Tests Reviewed: Batting

Dilshan (SrL) 44
Samaraweera (SrL) 24
Kapugedera (SrL) 17
DPMD Jayawardene (SrL) 16
Sangakkara (SrL) 10
Shakib Al Hasan (Ban) 10
Mohammad Ashraful (Ban) 9
Mushfiqur Rahim (Ban) 4
Warnapura (SrL) 0
Vandort (SrL) - 1
Junaid Siddique (Ban) - 3
Prasad (SrL) - 4
Mendis (SrL) - 4
Herath (SrL) - 5
Fernando (SrL) - 5
Tamim Iqbal (Ban) - 6
Vaas (SrL) - 7
Mehrab Hossain, II (Ban) - 7
Mashrafe Mortaza (Ban) - 9
Enamul Haque (Ban) - 9
Imrul Kayes (Ban) -10
Mahbubul Alam -10
Muralitharan (SrL) -10
Raqibul Hasan (Ban) -12
HAPW Jayawardene (SrL) -13
Shahadat Hossain (Ban) -18

I'm watching Sri Lanka demolish Pakistan in the third ODI as I type this. Sri Lanka have flirted with breaking into the top three positions in the Cricketing Sabermetrics' Test Ladder in the five years I've been monitoring such things. They've done very well since entering international cricket. This series against Bangladesh simply underlines how, in contrast, Bangladesh haven't measured up to the standards of earlier sides granted International Test Status. Sri Lanka's top-order batsmen massacred the Bangladesh bowlers in this series. Dilshan's 44 is a remarkable score, and he claims the 'silver slugger' award for this set of 'Christmas Tests'.

For Bangladesh, the question is what to do? They need to play more first-class cricket, I think, but other boards seem increasingly reluctant to give them a game. The Indian board, in particular, deserves criticism for not hosting them in a Test series yet supporting their promotion to Test status in the first place. Shakib al Hasan and Mohammad Ashraful managed to give a good account of themselves. You could probably go as far as Mehrab Hossain II in the scores to get a core to build around with the bat. The rest of the side are not holding up their end. Whether it was simply a reflection of their predicament in the first test, when they chased a big lead effectively, if in vain, their 46% percent (a measure of how many runs are scored in 4s and 6s) of 55 is very high for a Test side. Maybe they should go out there and just block and block again, and play for draws. They might fluke a few more results when they bat first.

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