The celebratory mood of Bogra gave way to an introspective calm at Chittagong as Bangladesh, just coming off their first-ever one-day win against Sri Lanka, were brought hurtling down to earth. A superbly-paced century from Kumar Sangakkara inspired a rampaging Sri Lankan performance, helping them post a tall score and coast to a 78-run win, according to webside cricinfo.
Sangakkara, who executed the sheet-anchors role, helped Sri Lanka overcome a sluggish start, strengthened their position in the middle overs and stepped it up gradually. Counterattacking bursts from Mahela Jayawardene and Kaushal Lokuarachchi beefed up the total as Sri Lanka, who had staggered to 212 in the previous game, rattled up an imposing 309 for 7. Mohammad Ashraful's dashing half-century was nothing more than a consolation as Bangladesh, ending the series with a whimper, limping to a big defeat.
Bangladesh will look back at the early stages of the game, which they bossed, and wonder where it all went wrong. Sangakkara walked in with the packed house abuzz with anticipation. Mashrafe Mortaza, who had got a wicket in the first over of the match, was in the midst of a lively opening spell and, along with Syed Rasel's left-arm military medium, had the Sri Lankan batsmen in a nagging rut at 17 for 2.
A few trademark Sangakkara punches eased the pressure but he quickly moved over to the back seat once Jayawardene began to change the tempo. He was dropped on 16, when Khaled Mashud grassed a chance behind the stumps, and it proved to be a costly miss for Bangladesh, as their initiative was wrenched away. Jayawardene backed himself against the predictable medium-pace, with Tapash Baisya unable to vary his deliveries, and was one of the main reasons for sorry figures of none for 43 in five overs.
Ashraful was the only batsman to show the initiative to get after the bowling, with reverse-sweeps against the spinners and lofted drives off the faster men. His 11 sweetly-struck fours gave Bangladesh the faintest of chances but, with wickets falling at the other end, this was always going to turn futile. Habibul Bashar and Alok Kapali fell to sloppy shot selection - one pulled a long hop straight to short midwicket, the other swept a full ball and missed - and the Sri Lankan spinners, who snared four wickets between them, ensured that the screws were gradually tightened. Mortaza's mighty sixes were like raging flames in a burning wreckage and, sadly for Bangladesh, his fine opening spell this morning was all but forgotten.