Bangladesh are 1-0 up in the series, thanks to their win in the opening match on Sunday. But more importantly, their unwanted 10-match winless streak is finally over.
Captain Tamim Iqbal is under no illusions and admitted himself that the job was not done but the joy of victory must taste sweet for a side whose last win in any format came way back in January when they defeated West Indies in the 3rd ODI.
Since then, they were beaten 2-0 by West Indies in the Test series before being clean swept in both the ODI and T20I series on their disastrous tour of New Zealand.
In Sunday’s win, the Tigers were nowhere near perfect but saw a trio of half-centuries as well as an impressive four-for by Mehidy Hasan Miraz – all of which will make their confident of sealing the series on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka’s track record in 2021 has been almost just as unimpressive as Bangladesh’s. So far this year, they’ve won only two matches, one of which was a T20I win over West Indies in a lost series and another the recent Test win over none other than Bangladesh.
In the series opener, they bowled first and bowled well in the first half of Bangladesh’s innings before a 109-run fifth-wicket partnership between Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah marred their good work.
Later, the run chase was never on, even if Wanindu Hasaranga (74 off 60) might disagree. Several Sri Lankan batters did get starts but none, with the exception of Hasaranga, could play a big knock.
It was a combination of Sri Lankan inability and Miraz’s brilliance that saw Bangladesh come out on top. But considering that Sri Lanka are young, naïve and under new leadership, the lost should sting less, even if it was against a lesser side such as Bangladesh.