Bangladesh’s batting fragility was exposed once again as Sri Lanka crushed the hosts by 79 runs in the final to claim the title of tri-series one-day international tournament in Dhaka on Saturday.
The Tigers did well with the ball to dismiss Sri Lanka for 221 runs thanks to four wickets from Rubel Hossain, but despite a valiant 76 off 92 balls from Mahmudullah, they could never go close to their target.
Sri Lanka rode on a hat-trick of debutant Shehan Madushanka and some other spirited performance from Dushmantha Chameera and Akila Dananjaya, who took two wickets each to bowl Bangladesh out for 142 runs in 41.1 overs.
Madushanka, handpicked by new Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, became only fourth bowler in history to claim a hat-trick on debut, joining with South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada, Bangladesh’s Taijul Islam and team-mate Wanidu Hasaranga.
Madushanka took the wickets of Rubel and Mashrafee bin Murtaza in the last two balls of his sixth over before he removed Mahmudullah in the first ball of next over to complete his hat-trick.
Bangladesh innings ended with Mahmudullah giving a catch at extra cover to Upul Tharanga as injured Sakib al Hasan was unable to turn up with the bat.
Sakib hurt his left little finger while fielding at the short cover region in the 42nd over of Sri Lanka innings and was immediately rushed to the hospital before he came back with a sling on his arm.
In his absence, a nervous Bangladesh lost their first three wickets for 22 runs as Tamim Iqbal (three), Mohammad Mithun (10) and Sabbir Rahman (two) all failed to give the team a positive start.
A 58-run partnership between Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim seemed to have salvaged the innings. But Mushfiq’s penchant for playing too many sweep shots brought his downfall putting the team into further trouble.
Shortly after being reprieved by a review, Mushfiq left for 22, leaving the onus on Mahmudullah, who could not finish the job off despite playing one of his finest innings in the career.
Earlier, pacer Rubel claimed 4-46 while Mustafizur Rahman took 2-29 as Bangladesh bowled out Sri Lanka to a gettable score on a sluggish pitch.
Opener Tharanga made highest 56 off 99 deliveries while stand-in skipper Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella struck 45 and 42 respectively after Mehedi Hasan gave Bangladesh an early breakthrough.
Mehedi, playing his first ODI at home, removed opener Danushka Gunathilaka (six) in the third over before Mashrafee ended Kusal Mendis’ onslaught after the right-hander made 28 off just nine balls.
Dickwella added 71 runs with Tharanga for the third wicket before Mohammad Saifuddin gave the Tigers an important breakthrough.
Tharanga and Chandimal steadied their innings and took them to 158-3 but Bangladeshi bowlers did not allow them to open up picking the last seven wickets for only 63 runs.
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