Chandika Hathurusingha's contract with the BCB was supposed to run until the 2019 World Cup© Getty Images
Chandika Hathurusingha’s contract with the BCB was supposed to run until the 2019 World Cup© Getty Images

Sylhet: Sri Lankan coach Chandika Hathurusingha said on Saturday his inside knowledge of Bangladesh  helped his side come out on top in all three formats. Hathurusingha coached Bangladesh for more than three years before he quit in October to join his struggling home team. He faced his former charges in his very first series as Sri Lankan coach, guiding the visiting side to success in all three formats of the game so far.

Sri Lanka started the tri-nation one-day international tournament in January poorly, losing their first two matches to Zimbabwe and Bangladesh respectively before they came back strongly to reach the final. They won the final comfortably by 79-runs and then dominated the hosts in a two Test series, winning it 1-0 in earlier this month.

Sri Lanka also won Thursday’s first Twenty20 international, overcoming Bangladesh’s record score of 193-5 with relative ease to take a 1-0 lead in the two match series. The win in the first Twenty20 international also snapped Sri Lanka’s eight-match losing streak, spanning nearly a year.

“I think yes, to be honest,” Hathurusingha said when asked if his Bangladesh knowledge had made the difference. “We had some strategic plans for some of the players. We knew how they would react under pressure,” he said.

Hathurusingha added: “All in all, it was a satisfying tour for me personally.”

Sri Lanka will wrap up their month long Bangladesh tour on Sunday with the final Twenty20 international in the northeastern city of Sylhet.

“We are coming here to win the game. Finishing with a win (would be) very encouraging for us,”Hathurusingha said.  Stand-in Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad said they will play for pride in the final Twenty20. ”We didn’t get expected results in the tri-nation and the Test series. Our bowlers didn’t execute the plans in the first T20,” said Mahmudullah

Bangladesh will be again without injured all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan but are hoping opening batsman Tamim Iqbal will return for the final Twenty20.

Tamim missed the first Twenty20 international with a muscle pain. ”He is a lot better, and he is likely to play,” said Mahmudullah.