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Clinical Sri Lanka sweep ODI series

1 August 2019 12:20 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Shehan Daniel 

A clinical 122-run victory helped Sri Lanka complete a 3-0 series sweep against Bangladesh at the R. Premadasa Stadium yesterday, giving the retiring Nuwan Kulasekera the farewell he deserved. 


Sri Lanka had set Bangladesh a challenging target of 295, building their innings on contributions right through the batting line-up highlighted by Angelo Mathews’ 87. But the visitors’ chase proved to be the exact opposite, with seven batsmen failing to make it into double digits.

 
Bangladesh were reduced to 46 for three in 12 overs, effectively crippling their chances though Soumya Sarkar made a valiant half century to try to keep his team in the hunt. 
Kasun Rajitha removed the out-of-form Tamim Iqbal in the second over of the chase and then dismissed Anamul Haque in the eighth over, when he was caught excellently by Avishka Fernando. 


Dasun Shanaka, who made a vital contribution earlier with the bat, then accounted for the crucial scalp of Mushfiqur Rahim, caught behind for 10. 


Four overs later Shanaka had a second when Mohammed Mithun’s audacious attempt to pull a short ball that was well outside off stump resulted in a top edge that was taken on the third attempt by Lahiru Kumara at fine leg. 


A 23-run partnership between Sarkar and Mahmadullah Riyad was broken by Shanaka before substitute fielder Dhananjaya de Silva held onto a blinder at extra cover in Lahiru Kumara’s first over, to dismiss Sabbir Rahman and leave Bangladesh reeling on 105 for six. 


De Silva and Kumara combined again to remove Mehidy Hasan two overs later, before partnerships of 26 for the eighth wicket and 23 for the last prolonged the inevitable, before Sri Lanka killed the game and bowled out Bangladesh for 172 in 36 overs. 


Mathews’ half century was the standout contribution in what was a complete batting performance from Sri Lanka, with the former Captain putting on a 101-run partnership with Kusal Mendis before support from the rest of the middle order took Sri Lanka close to 300.
 
It was measured for the most part from Mathews, ensuring that Sri Lanka had a platform from which to build on in the final third of the innings, during which he himself switched gears and attacked the Bangladesh bowlers. 

 

 


He had enjoyed a touch of fortune when he was dropped on 32 by Rahim, a difficult chance but one that the keeper would have expected to take, reaching his half century in 69 balls with an outside edge that ran to the third man boundary. 


Three more boundaries and a six saw him score his last 34 runs in just 21 deliveries, before he was caught in the second ball of the final over. 


Sri Lanka had recovered from the early loss of Avishka Fernando, when the batsman was on six and the team on 18, through an 83-run partnership between Kusal Janith Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne. 


With just 36 runs on the board at the end of the first powerplay, the Karunaratne-Perera pairing upped the ante ever so slightly scoring 59 runs off the next 10 overs, a passage of play where both batsmen went relatively untested by the Bangladeshi bowlers. 


It came against the run of play when both batsmen fell within the space of six balls, both guilty of gifting their wickets as Sri Lanka slipped to 98 for three. 


The partnership ended when Karunaratne attempted to paddle a Taijul Islam delivery over the wicket-keeper Musfiqur Rahim, only to lob a catch to Rahim instead. 


Perera was also snared by Rahim, slashing at a ball outside off-stump, but so late that it only found the edge through to the keeper. 


That meant Kusal Mendis and Mathews had to stage another recovery and not expose the inexperienced middle-order too early, and so they did, absorbing a little over 20 overs in building a century-stand. 


Mendis struck five boundaries and a six – the six also brought up him his 16th half-century – in an innings that will come as personal relief to a batsman who has been repeatedly criticized for his inability to translate his exceptional performances in the longer format to the shorter-game. 


Sri Lanka’s middle-order featured three new faces for yesterday’s dead rubber, and all three made contributions towards Sri Lanka’s total, with Shanaka proving the most ruthless as he pummelled  Bangladesh’s death bowlers to score 30 off just 14 balls. 


19 off those runs came off in the 45th over bowled by Shaiful Islam, when Shanaka almost effortlessly cleared him for two sixes over the long-on boundary. 


Shehan Jayasuriya scored 13 off seven, while Wanidu Hasaranga finished unbeaten on 12, with his two boundaries coming in the final two deliveries of the innings. 

 

 

 

 

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