POST TIME: 16 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Sri Lanka tame Bangladesh in style
Tigers lose 1st T20 by 6 wkts
Sports Reporter

Sri Lanka tame Bangladesh 
in style

Mushfiqur Rahim blasts a boundary on his way to make an unbeaten 66 in the first T20 International match against Sri Lanka at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the capital yesterday. BCB PHOTO

Bangladesh failed to defend their highest T20 total as Sri Lanka made a mockery with the hosts’ bowling to seal a six-wicket victory in the first of the two-match T20 series yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. Opener Soumya Sarkar made a solid start and Mushfiqur Rahim gave a fine finishing touch as Bangladesh piled up 194 for five before Sri Lanka gunned it down with 20 balls to spare. Opener Kusal Mendis set up the team with 27 ball-53, smacking eight fours and two sixes while Dasun Shanaka and Thisara Perera added 65 off just 30 for the unbeaten fifth wicket stand to ensure the facile victory.

Shanaka was not out on 42 off 24, hitting three fours and as many sixes while Thisara Perera clobbered 18 ball-39 not out with four fours and three sixes. Bangladesh bowlers indeed let them down with too many shot of length deliveries that were easily dispatched to the boundaries and made the victory easier for the visitors despite a daunting target at hands. Debutant left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Opu was the highest wicket-taker for the side two for 25 but despite his good start, the other bowlers failed to capitalise on it. Earlier, Soumya smashed a 32 ball-51, his maiden fifty while Mushfiqur hit his career best 44 ball-66 not out to steer Bangladesh to 193 for five, eclipsing their previous highest 190 for five against Ireland in 2012.

Interestingly Bangladesh’s top three scores (189 against New Zealand and 181 against Sri Lanka) against the Test nation in this format came without the service of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim, the team’s two best scorers and wicket-takers. Both of the mainstays of Bangladesh were ruled out from the match due to the injury. However Bangladesh responded with four debutants—all-rounders Afif Hossain, Ariful Haque, left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Opu and wicket-keeper batsman Zakir Hasan.

None of the debutants, who batted in the match had any significant contribution but Bangladesh amassed a respectable total, owing to the senior batsman of the side. Apart from the half-centuries of Soumya and Mushfiqur Rahim, captain Mahmudullah Riyad smacked a 30 ball-43 to make the score healthier.

Soumya Sarkar gave the side a momentum, even though his fellow opener Zakir Hasan fell for cheaply. Soumya’s carnage ensured Bangladesh would reach 100 for one in just 10 overs. But leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis stalled Bangladesh’s progress, removing Somuya and Afif Hossain in three balls, before Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudulllah made a repair job. Soumya hit six fours and two sixes in his knock.

Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah added 73 runs for the fourth wicket stand to ensure Bangladesh wouldn’t loss the momentum. Mushfiqur smashed seven fours and one six in his knock while Riyad knock was studded by two fours and as many sixes.