Bangladesh opened their Asia Cup account in a magnificent way as they beat Sri Lanka by 137 runs. The match had a bit of everything, starting from drama to a heroic performance. Bangladeshi captain Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and elected to bat first.
Pacer and vetran Lasith Malinga was making a comeback after a while in the Sri Lankan colours and he could not have dreamt of a better comeback. In his very fast over Malinga picked up two back to back wickets to send Liton Das and Sakib Al Hasaan back to pavilion and reduced Bangladesh to 1-2 at the end of the first over. Bangladesh suffered another blow in the third over. This time Malinga’s bouncer hit opener Tamim Iqbal’s arm. As a result of which he had to retire hurt, playing only three balls.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun knew that they had a lot to do to steady the ship. And the two right-handed batsmen did exceptionally well. The duo added 132 runs for the third wicket. But again Bangladesh lost their momentum. Malinga again picked up two quick wickets and was aptly supported by Suranga Lakmal and Dhananjaya De Silva.
Bangladesh soon found themselves lingering with a score of 203-8. To their delight, Mushfiqur was still on the crease. Mustafizur Rahman showed great character to stay on the crease. Both of them added 26 runs together but Mustafizur made his walk back to the pavilion after a catastrophic run out. Not many were hopeful of Tamim Iqbal coming out to bat again. But the southpaw arrived on the pitch with a broken arm. It was as astonishing sight to see him bat on a single hand. However he faced just one ball. Rahim took on the charge on the other hand and completed a well made century. Rahim’s blitzkrieg innings and Tamim’s heroics meant Bangladesh posted a respectable total of 261 in their quota of 50 overs. Malinga was the pick of the Sri Lanka bowlers with figures of 23-4.
Rahim’s late onslaught had already dented Sri Lanka’s confidence. And it went from bad to worse after Mustafizur picked up Kusal Mendis in the second over. Upul Tharanga made a brisk start scoring 27 runs from 15 balls. But his stay ended in the sixteenth ball when Mortaza clean bowled him in the third over. Mortaza again struck gold. This time he took the wicket of Dhananjaya De Silva as the impressive Sri Lankan batsman went to the pavilion without struggling the scorers. This very well set the tone of the match.
There was no coming back of Sri Lanka from such a dilapidated state. They kept losing wickets in regular intervals. After Thisara Perera was picked up Mehdi Hasan, the scorecard read 69-7 and the Bangladeshis were eager to wrap up the Sri Lankan innings. Dilruwan Perera and Lakmal scored 29 and 20 runs respectively to take Sri Lanka beyond the hundred mark. But that didn’t change the fate of the match. They were finally dismissed for 124, thus losing the match by 137 runs. This is the biggest loss of Sri Lanka in terms of runs against Bangladesh.
Bangladesh: 261/10(49.2 o.)
Mushfiqur Rahim 144(150)
Mohammed Mithun 63(68)
Lasith Malinga 10-2-23-4.
Sri Lanka: 124/10(35.2 o.)
Dilruwan Perera 29(44)
Upul Tharanga 27(16)
Mustafizur Rahman 6-0-20-2.
Man of The Match: Mushfiqur Rahim.