DHAKA: Acting Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad said Wednesday his team was confident of getting its first-ever Test series win over Sri Lanka after eking out a dogged draw in the opener.
The decider starts Thursday in Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and follows a controversial drawn first Test in Chittagong that drew censure from cricket’s governing body.
The hosts managed a draw despite Sri Lanka leaving them in a precarious position at 81-3 at stumps on the fourth day.
The visitors — who declared at a colossal 713 for nine in their first and only innings — criticised the pitch after the match.
Mahmudullah, who is standing in for injured skipper Shakib Al Hasan, said Bangladesh played better at home and were confident of clinching a historic series win in Dhaka.
“We got out of a tough position in the first match. So this game is a great chance for us to win a Test series,” he told reporters.
“I think our team is better, especially at home. It will be a good contest, which was mostly the case in Chittagong.”
Bangladesh have not won a Test series since beating Zimbabwe 3-0 at home in 2014 and have defeated Sri Lanka just once in their last 19 contests in the longest form of the game.
Mahmudullah said the Dhaka pitch was “result-oriented” and would favour spinners — conditions absent in the run spree at Chittagong.
The International Cricket Council penalised the “below average” pitch in Chittagong for providing no seam movement to fast bowlers and too heavily favouring the batters.
Batsmen plundered more than 1,500 runs over five days — including five centuries and six half-centuries.
Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal said Bangladesh would be tough to beat at home on a spinning track, but they had experienced players to deal with the conditions.
“When you look at this pitch, definitely there will be a result. The pitch looks dry. Spinners will definitely come into play. It is challenging for both teams,” he said.
“They are really good, especially (on) their home soil. They have performed well here. We never underestimate them, they are playing really good cricket.
“We have more experienced players in our Test side compared to the ODI side. It is still challenging to us but we have some game plans according to the conditions and their players. We need to execute that well.”
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will also play two Twenty20 internationals after the Test series wraps up.—AFP