The first Test between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh proved to be an absolute run fest. Over 1500 runs were scored over the course of 5 days by both teams on aggregate. Because it the end result was a draw, the second and final Test of the series is now the decider for who wins the series.
On a pitch that is reported to be more favorable for spin bowling than the one at Chittagong, either team could gain the upper hand. With a result likely, which team will persevere to clinch the series?
Sri LankaDinesh Chandimal (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Roshen Silva, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Dilruwan Perera, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Lahiru Kumara, Lahiru Gamage
Mahmudullah (c), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Sabbir Rahman, Abdur Razzak, Naeem Hasan, Tanbir Hayder
Where the teams stand
Sri Lanka had 100 overs to bowl the Bangladeshis out for a low score and chase it down, but the home side were resilient and managed to play the Test out. They also gave away far too many runs in the first innings, forcing the batsmen to score in excess of the 513 that they conceded. Kudos to the batting lineup for being able to surpass that, but the bowling needs to be better. Rangana Herath and Suranga Lakmal will have to shoulder the responsibility for this, being their two best bowlers.
It takes a special effort to score 713 in an innings, no matter whom you’re against, but the Sri Lankan batsmen were brilliant. Two scores of 150+, another century and two fifties. Playing in typically subcontinental conditions, they will be at ease in Bangladesh. Still, consistency is an issue that can plague even the best teams. If the visitors can keep up the scoring, they can potentially win a Test series abroad after many disappointing performances in the recent past.
Bangladesh are sorely missing Shakib Al Hasan to give them an edge over the Sri Lankans. The all-rounder has been sidelined by injury. Mominul Haque was fantastic in both the innings’, scoring a century both times. Iqbal, Rahim, Mahmudullah, and Das also came good for their team, helping them earn a draw despite a demoralizing fightback from the Lankans.
Taijul Islam was their best bowler in the first Test, taking 4 wickets in the only innings the Bangladeshis bowled in. Mustafizur and him will be the bowlers to watch out for. The teams are evenly balanced, playing at par with each other. Both have an equal chance of clinching the match, making predicting a winner particularly hard.
Sri Lanka win. The Sri Lankan batsmen were far more successful on the Chittagong pitch than the Bangladeshis, and they look like the better team for the next match.