The middle overs crisis buried Sri Lanka once again for the sixth consecutive time in foreign soil as they lost the first of the 3 ODIs against Bangladesh.
Having been put in to bowl first, they had a lot of things going right in the very first 15 overs of the game. But since the middle phase of that innings, nothing went their way.
Saying that one cannot take the glory away from this spirited fight from the Bangladeshi players.
Their prime hope, Shakib Al Hassan, succumbed to the pressure of expectations early into the innings as he was asked to take up an excessive amount of responsibility in the team’s unsettled batting line-up.
Opting to bat at No.3, Shakib looked tentative right from the time he walked out to the centre at 1 for 5. He kept hitting the ball straight into the hands of the fielders and scored unusually slowly.
Sri Lankan bowlers looked better at the start than what they have in the recent past. At the end of the first powerplay, the Lankan bowlers kept the hosts pressed down to 54 for 2. 60 out of the first 90 balls were dots and that seemed to be doing the trick for Sri Lanka.
However, that changes quickly. From scoring at 3.6 runs per over in the first 15 overs, the Tigers propelled their rate to 5.5 runs per over from overs 15 to 40.
Being the second most economical bowler in the past 12 months, behind Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva picked up 3 for just 45 runs.
It was again a classic case of the seniors coming to the rescue of Bangladesh. Mushfiqur Rahim was excellent with the bat, class emanating throughout his innings. He scored a brilliant 84 runs off 87 deliveries before perishing by playing his infamous shot of demise, the reverse sweep.
Skipper Tamim and Mahamudullah struck half-centuries each to help Bangladesh post a formidable 257 runs on board on a deteriorating surface.
The visiting Sri Lankans had a head and a tail in this game, but the body was missing.
The openers gave the Islanders a bit of a gutsy start, but on that surface, it was all about carrying it through. They gave in to the pressure created by the Bangladeshi bowlers by allowing a high amount of dot balls.
Off-spinner Mehidy Hassan Miraz was impeccable as he ran through the Lankan top order. With 4 for 30 in his 10 overs, the wily spinner maintained an exceptional sum of 44 dot balls in his spell.
The actual eye-catcher of the game though was the Sri Lanka all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga. After going wicketless with the ball, the little dynamite walked in to bat at 102/6 and catapulted his team so very close to that winning target. He made his personal best score in international cricket with an enterprising 74 runs. His knock saw 5 sixes and 3 fours in it.
Wanindu was supported briefly by Isuru Udana who hung in there to take the game as deep as the pair could. But the fatigue took its toll as the two-spirited fighters perished in back to back deliveries.
In the end, Sri Lanka fell 33 runs short of the mark.
|Tamim Iqbal||lbw b Dhananjaya de Silva||52||70||6||1||74.29|
|Liton Das||c Dhananjaya de Silva b Dushmantha Chameera||0||3||0||0||0.00|
|Shakib Al Hasan (vc)||c Pathum Nissanka b Danushka Gunathilaka||15||34||2||0||44.12|
|Mushfiqur Rahim||c Isuru Udana b Lakshan Sandakan||84||87||4||1||96.55|
|Mohammad Mithun||lbw b Dhananjaya de Silva||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Mahmudullah||b Dhananjaya de Silva||54||76||2||1||71.05|
|Afif Hossain||not out||27||22||3||0||122.73|
|Mohammad Saifuddin||not out||13||9||2||0||144.44|
|Extras||12 (b 0 , lb 1 , nb 2, w 9, pen 0)|
|Total||257/6 (50 Overs, RR: 5.14)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-5 (1.3) Liton Das, 2-43 (12.1) Shakib Al Hasan (vc), 3-99 (22.5) Tamim Iqbal, 4-99 (22.6) Mohammad Mithun, 5-208 (43.1) Mushfiqur Rahim, 6-230 (47.1) Mahmudullah,|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||10||0||45||3||4.50|
|Danushka Gunathilaka||c & b Mehidy Hasan Miraz||21||19||5||0||110.53|
|Kusal Perera||b Mehidy Hasan Miraz||30||50||1||0||60.00|
|Pathum Nissanka||c Afif Hossain b Mushfiqur Rahim||8||13||1||0||61.54|
|Kusal Mendis||c Mehidy Hasan Miraz b Shakib Al Hasan (vc)||24||36||2||0||66.67|
|Dhananjaya de Silva||b Mehidy Hasan Miraz||9||15||1||0||60.00|
|Ashen Bandara||b Mehidy Hasan Miraz||3||24||0||0||12.50|
|Dasun Shanaka||b Mohammad Saifuddin||14||25||1||0||56.00|
|Wanindu Hasaranga||c Afif Hossain b Mohammad Saifuddin||74||60||3||5||123.33|
|Isuru Udana||c Mehidy Hasan Miraz b Mushfiqur Rahim||21||23||2||0||91.30|
|Lakshan Sandakan||not out||8||12||1||0||66.67|
|Dushmantha Chameera||c Mohammad Saifuddin b Mushfiqur Rahim||5||12||0||0||41.67|
|Extras||7 (b 0 , lb 4 , nb 0, w 3, pen 0)|
|Total||224/10 (48.1 Overs, RR: 4.65)|
|Fall of Wickets||1-30 (4.6) Danushka Gunathilaka, 2-41 (7.4) Pathum Nissanka, 3-82 (18.1) Kusal Mendis, 4-94 (21.3) Kusal Perera, 5-97 (23.1) Dhananjaya de Silva, 6-102 (27.3) Ashen Bandara, 7-149 (34.1) Dasun Shanaka, 8-211 (43.6) Wanindu Hasaranga, 9-211 (44.1) Isuru Udana, 10-224 (48.1) Dushmantha Chameera,|
|Mehidy Hasan Miraz||10||2||30||4||3.00|
|Shakib Al Hasan (vc)||10||0||44||1||4.40|