Bangladesh waited nearly 30 years and 296 one-day matches for their chance to grace the storied Melbourne Cricket Ground but failed to live up to the occasion on Thursday with an abominable fielding display in their 92-run World Cup loss to Sri Lanka
Bangladesh entered the match in good cheer after an opening win against Afghanistan and brought what many considered a bonus point after their second match against Australia was washed out.That enthusiasm was dented on the fourth ball of the first over, when Sri Lanka’s opening batsman Lahiru Thirimanne was dropped by slip fielder Anamul Haque, an easy, waist-high chance off captain Mashrafe Mortaza’s bowling.
Thirimanne would go on to score 52 before being caught in the deep but only after being reprieved twice moreHis wicket was the only one to fall as Sri Lanka piled on 332, with centurions Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara sharing an unbroken stand of 210 to set up the win.Sangakkara could have been out for 23 had paceman Taskin Ahmed clutched a difficult caught-and-bowled chance and was dropped again on 60 when he cut straight to point where Mominul Haque put down a sitter at chest-height.Mominul’s petulant response, throwing the ball at the bowler’s end in frustration, caused three runs from an over-throw.
“Definitely the dropped catching is costing us,” Mortaza told reporters.”But it happens in cricket. At the same time I think as a bowling group we have not been up to the mark today. We need to work it out, and hopefully the next game we’ll come up with good things.”Thirimanne was also the beneficiary of a missed stumping and another lost chance when wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim failed to move for a nick that flew between the stumper and slip early on.Completing a terrible afternoon, Mushfiqur would later fail to back up a throw at the stumps that would have almost certainly captured Dilshan’s wicket.
Throughout, throws back to the stumps from the deep landed halfway down the pitch and Mortaza glared as player after player waved apologetically after fumbling grounded shots that often cost extra runs.The skipper was unable to put a finger on the abject display, though it seemed his team struggled to cope with the dimensions of the sprawling ground, mistiming their runs to cut off the 38 boundaries from the batsmen.