Avishka Fernando and Chamika Karunaratne added 73 unbroken runs for the 7th wicket as Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by 4 wickets in their first warm-up encounter in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 played at Tolerance Oval, Abu Dhabi on Tuesday evening.
Chasing 148 runs to win under lights, Sri Lanka were reeling at 75 for 6 in the 11th over when Karunaratne joined Fernando. Sri Lanka reached the target in the penultimate ball of the innings as Fernando remained unbeaten on 62 off 42 balls while Karunaratne made 29 off 16 balls.
Earlier, Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat. Despite not playing a single game for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League, Sri Lanka’s bowling spearhead, Dushmantha Chameera castled Liton Das for 16 in the 5th over. Since then, Bangladesh kept on losing wickets as Naim Sheikh and Mushfiqur Rahim departed off Maheesh Theekshana and Dasun Shanaka as Sri Lanka crawled their way into the brittle Bangladesh middle order.
Soumya Sarkar top-scored for Bangladesh with a 26-ball 34 as the rest of the batsmen fell despite getting starts. Lahiru Kumara and Wanindu Hasaranga proved to be economical with the ball, supporting Chameera, who ended with excellent figures of 3 for 27 off his 4 overs. Both Kumara and Hasaranga picked up a wicket each as Sri Lanka tightened the screws to restrict Bangladesh to 147 for 7 from their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing 148 runs to win, Sri Lanka lost their top order quite cheaply. Kusal Janith Perera made only 4 runs, while his partner Pathum Nissanka made 15 off 12 balls with 2 sixes. Dinesh Chandimal, at number three made 13 off 15 balls with 2 fours.
Sri Lanka wanted to give some batting practice to Wanindu Hasaranga at number five but he was run out for 7. Bhanuka Rajapaksa lasted only 2 balls, failing to contribute with a score while skipper Dasun Shanaka made just 7 off 6 balls as Sri Lanka looked down the barrel.
Fernando, despite being an opening batsman, was slotted in at number four since the Oman matches, remained unbeaten on 62 from 42 balls with 2 fours and 3 sixes to take Sri Lanka home. Karunaratne played a brilliant supporting role, scoring 29 runs off 25 balls with 1 six and 1 four.
Sri Lanka will play Papua New Guinea in their second warm-up encounter on 14th October at the same venue.
Bangladesh – 147/7 (20 overs): Soumya Sarkar 34, Liton Das 16, Dushmantha Chameera 3/27, Lahiru Kumara 1/24, Wanindu Hasaranga 1/24.
Sri Lanka – 148/6 (19 overs): Avishka Fernando 62*, Chamika Karunaratne 29*, Soumya Sarkar 2/12.