Bangladesh’s senior players put up a collective performance to help the side post a record 163-run win over Sri Lanka in their second match of the tri-series one-day international tournament in Dhaka on Friday.
The Tigers came into the game with an intent, which was reflected in the performance of every senior player as they did everything they could to prove their mettle against a side, guided by none other than their immediate coach Chandika Hathurusinghe.
Tamim Iqbal, Sakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim each struck a fifty while Mashrafee bin Murtaza claimed two early wickets to set up the win with a bonus point, which not only proved their points, but also took them to the final with two games in hands.
Tamim started from where he left in eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe, hitting 84 off 102 balls while Sakib and Mushfiq added 67 off 63 balls and 62 off 52 balls respectively as Bangladesh posted 320-6- their second best collection ever against Sri Lanka.
Bowlers took an inspiration from the performance to bowl out Sri Lanka for 157 runs in only 32.2 overs to surpass their previous biggest win of 160 runs against West Indies at Khulna in 2012.
Mashrafee inevitably led their way with ball as he appeared to have struck off his second delivery when he hit Upul Tharanga plumb in front though the decision had to be overturned after the batsman had asked for a review.
But Bangladesh did not require looking back once Nasir Hossain provided the opening in the next over as the off-spinner bowled Kusal Perera with a quicker for just one run.
Sri Lanka, who were without injured captain Angelo Mathews, looked clueless about how to deal with Bangladesh’s versatile bowling attack after Mashrafee (2-30) dismissed Tharanga (25) and Kusal Mendis (19) and Mustafizur Rahman bowled Niroshan Dickwella (16).
Dinesh Chandimal’s run out for 28 by a brilliant throw of Sakib from mid-off also did not help their cause. The game was all but over for Sri Lanka once Sakib removed Asela Gunaratne (16) and Wanidu Hasaranga (0) off successive balls.
Thisara Perera launched a counter-attack, which he usually does best, but with Sri Lanka already seven down and 223 runs behind it was too much of an asking for him.
He hit Sakib for two sixes and two fours off consecutive deliveries but the bowler had the last laugh as he removed Perera in the same over to end the game as a contest.
Sri Lanka could add only seven runs to their score after Perera’s dismissal as Sakib finished with 3-43 to the side their 16th defeat in last 17 ODIs and second in the tournament.
Bangladesh took the control of the game from the beginning as Tamim and Anamul Haque put 71-run in the opening stand after Mashrafe won the toss and opted to bat first.
Anamul, however, lived dangerously having survived a drop catches and three other chance in different shape inside first 10 overs. Perera relived him with a short-pitch delivery which took a slight touch of his bat before being taken by wicketkeeper Dickwella down the leg side.
Tamim and Sakib denied Sri Lanka further momentum with a 99-run stand, which was broken by successful review of Sri Lanka. Two more fifty-plus partnerships, involving Sakib, Mushfiq and Mahmudullah (24) and a cameo of Sabbir Rahman (24 not out) followed to form the part of Bangladesh’s total.
Sri Lanka will face Zimbabwe in their next match on Sunday.
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