Kusal Mendis made a stroke filled maiden ODI ton as Sri Lanka posted 311 after winning the toss in the 2nd ODI at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium. Hower, Sri Lanka’s chance at leveling the series was spoiled when a heavy downpour began midway through the innings break and the match was eventually called off at 8.40pm. There are no reserve days allocated for the games in this series.
After winning the toss and batting 1st, Sri Lanka got off to a good start with Dhanushka Gunathilake looking to take on the bowlers. The left hander played a few crisp strokes, of which a drive down to the long on boundary stood out. However, he top-edged a slower ball off Mashrafe Mortaza and was well caught by Mushfiqur Rahim running back towards fine leg.
It was then that Mendis joined skipper Upul Tharanga in the middle and the pair put together a 111 run partnership to put Sri Lanka well on top. Tharanga, playing in his 200th ODI made as fluent a half century as you could imagine but a lazy piece of running saw him being caught short of his crease on 65. Having played 2nd fiddle to Tharanga until then, Mendis cut loose with a flurry of boundaries over the next few overs to go to 80 off 84 deliveries from 50 off 64 deliveries.
His ton came in 102 deliveries but he was dismissed soon after as Taskin Ahamed took an excellent return catch. Mendis cracked the ball straight at the bowler, it hit his shoulder and went up in the air; Taskin ran back to make the grab.
Asela Gunaratne and Milinda Siriwardene then upped the ante for the hosts as the pair put on 55 in 8 overs. Siriwardene made a run-a-ball 30 while Gunaratne made 35 off 28; the latter fell in the final over of the innings and was the 1st one to fall as Taskin Ahamed picked up Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep off the next two deliveries to pick up his 1st ODI hattrick to end Sri Lanka’s innings.
Gunaratne swiped a full toss on leg stump to the legside boundaryoff the 2nd delivery of the over but mistimed the next delivery to give Soumya Sarkar a catch at mid-off. Lakmal then chipped a full toss to short mid-wicket and Pradeep was removed with a lovely Yorker as Taskin became the 5th Bangladeshi, after Shahadat Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain and Taijul Islam to pick up a hattrick in ODI cricket.
Mehedi Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza picked up a wicket apiece while Taskin finished with 4/47. Mustafizur Rahman seemed off colour today, giving away an unusual number of freebees to the batsmen.
Sri Lanka would have fancied their chances of defending the total as no other team has ever chased a 300+ score in an ODI in Sri Lanka but it was not to be as the unexpected showers continued well into the night. Bangladesh will go into the 3rd game with the advantage as Sri Lanka face a must win game at the SSC, if they are to save face and level the series.