Saturday, October 21, 2017

Bangladesh overcome their disastrous P Sara Oval records to topple Sri Lanka

  • Sports Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-03-19 18:35:41 BdST


A brilliant first Test win over Sri Lanka at the P Sara Oval is a sign of coming of age for Bangladesh in the illustrious format of the game.

After their defeat in the Galle Test, Bangladesh have a lot to take away from the Colombo Test.

The Tigers clinched a four-wicket victory over the islanders in Colombo on Sunday to square the two-Test series 1-1 -- also a first for Bangladesh against Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh had lost 15 Tests and drawn two of their previous 17 matches in the five-day format against Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh also became the fourth team to win their 100th Test after Australia, the West Indies and Pakistan. It was Bangladesh’s ninth Test win overall and fourth overseas, first since 2013.

The fabulous win came in a venue where Sri Lanka have thrived through the years. On the contrary, the P Sara Oval is a ground where Bangladesh have struggled to do well consistently in the past. In fact, they have their worst record there.

The Colombo ground is the only venue in the sub-continent where cricket legend Sir Donald Bradman played.

Sri Lanka, who played their maiden Test on the 15,000-seated formerly know Colombo Oval ground, also tasted their first victories against sub-continent powerhouses India and Pakistan there.

Shakib Al Hasan returned to true colours. He earning the Man-of-the-Series award and broke into the top five most successful left-arm spinners.

Skipper Mushfiqur Rahim achieved a century of wicketkeeping dismissals while Sunday's victory is undoubtedly their best away from home after they beat England in Dhaka last October.

Mosaddek Hossain was handed debut in the match and the 21-year-old youngster showed great potential with the bat by scoring 75 in the first innings. His average in first-class cricket is close to 70.

Before that Bangladesh beat the West Indies twice in the Caribbean Islands in their only Test series win away from home. The Caribbean team, however, fielded a second string side after regular players pulled out following dispute with the board.

Four of Bangladesh’s previous eight Test wins were against Zimbabwe; three at home, one in Harare. The victory in Colombo easily tops the chart.

Bangladesh have poor record against many teams, but those against Sri Lanka have been the most awful.

And the worst of the lot have been those played at the P Sara Oval. The Tigers’ previous three matches there ended in innings defeats while those were the only games on that ground which ended with such margin.

Bangladesh have lost four their first five Tests in Sri Lanka by an innings. In the other drawn match, Bangladesh’s total score in both innings combined could not topple the first innings total of the hosts.

But the Tigers, still placed 10th in Tests, appear to have left those in the past as they can now down the lions in their own den.