Sri Lankan captain Rangana Herath denied the allegation over his team of showing smug during the second Test against Bangladesh at the P. Sara Oval, which resulted in the visitors’ favor on Sunday (March 19). Sri Lanka has been defeated by the youngest playing nation for the first time in their cricketing history.
Explaining the situation, Herath said, "Let me tell you one thing clearly, we did not underestimate the opposition and we weren't complacent. We wanted to give all our bowlers a bit of break. We knew that we will have to bowl again. We didn't certainly underestimate them.”
Herath took 3 wickets on his 39th birthday still, the visitors managed to chase down the target of 191 with four wickets to spare. He said, "I thought that we could defend the target. We have defended similar targets against India and Pakistan. So having three spinners, I was confident that we could pull it off. We had got two early wickets as well but after Lunch, they were attacking and the game slipped away from us.”
Sri Lankan skipper acknowledged that dropping down the chance of dismissing Shakib Al Hasan early in the first innings cost them the game. He said, "Shakib we dropped when he was on 11 and he went on to get a century. We can't afford to do a mistake like that and we need to do a lot of work. There are ups and downs in the sport. I have been in two World Cup squads where we reached the finals and lost. Winning and losing is part of the sport.”
He further added, "We were going well in the second innings. After Upul (Tharanga) had got out, Dimuth (Karunaratne) and Kusal (Mendis) were going great and then we lost five wickets for 40 runs. That was the key. That was the turning point of the game. That shouldn't have happened and we collapsed."
Herath concluded by applauding the improvement shown by the Bangladesh team in recent times. He said, "They have certainly improved a lot since the last time I played against them. Earlier when they got partnerships going, they didn't absorb the pressure well. Now they do that well and counter our plans too and they are very clever."