Sri Lanka’s humiliating loss to Bangladesh in the Asia Cup match on Tuesday has raised questions if the team lost the game intentionally or if they were tired after playing too much of cricket back to back.
The Sri Lankans went into the Asia Cup soon after a hectic series in Australia where Mahela Jayawardena took over the captaincy from T.M. Dilshan.
Bangladesh will face Pakistan in the final of the Asia Cup 2012 as the hosts registered their second big win in a row upstaging Sri Lanka by five wickets in front of a jam packed vociferous crowd and a proud Bangladesh Prime Minisher, Sheikh Haseena at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium, Mirpur on Tuesday.
Chasing a revised total of 212 in 40 overs after the rain delay, man in form Tamim Iqbal (59) continued to stroke the ball with immaculate timing holding one end tight even as the top order of Nazimuddin, Jahurul Islam and Captain Mushfiqur Rahim departed under 10 overs.
Then walked in the crisis man, Shakib Al Hasan, and he, along with Tamim started to open up as the duo executed some exquisite cover drives to the fence notching up a crucial 73-ball 76 runs.
Then the youngsters Nasir Hossain (36) and Mahmudullah (33) stepped up and applied themselves under tremendous pressure to steer Bangladesh to another historic win thus making way for their first ever final appearance in an Asia Cup.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s poor performance in the Asia Cup, where they lost all the matches, is sure to raise eyebrows back home.
During the Australian series the issue of the Sri Lankans not being paid their overdue salaries was highlighted in the local media and Jayawardena had even said during the prize giving for one of the games where he was fined for confronting the umpire, that he would be able to pay the fine if he got paid in the first place.
Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, speaking during commentary for the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh on Tuesday, said that he felt Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara were not focused on the game.
Sri Lanka failed to qualify for the Asia Cup finals despite playing really good cricket in Australia and making it to the finals. (www.colombogazette.com)