Sri Lanka continued their dominance of Bangladesh as they beat the Tigers in the Super 4 stage of the tournament by 21 runs, and, for the second time in the Asia Cup 2023 here on Saturday.
This win wasn’t easy as Sri Lanka first struggled with the bat before Sadeera Samarawickrama’s heroic 93 runs inning came to rescue them and guided the team to 257/9 in 50 overs, a defendable total on the pitch which was a tricky one to bat.
Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, Matheesha Pathirana, and Maheesh Theekshana were the stars of the show.
Chasing the target Bangladesh started very well as they opened the batting with a 55-run partnership. But soon they tumbled down as they lost the next three wickets within 28 runs. The rescue partnership came between Towhid Hridoy and Mushfiqur Rahim, added 72 runs on the board, and showed some resilience.
Hridoy went on to play the anchor inning for Bangladesh as he went on to score his third half-century in ODI cricket. However, his inning of 82 runs went in vain as the Tigers tailender completely lost the way in the end.
Skipper Dasun Shanaka gave an early shock to Bangladesh as he removed both the openers and then the young Pathirana marched on with spinner Theekshana. Trio went on to pick three wickets each.
Earlier in the inning, Mendis and Sadeera played a handy role for Sri Lanka as they both took the team to a respectable total. Sadeera went on to hit his highest score in ODI cricket and anchored the team in death overs with some big hits.
For Bangladesh, it was Tasking Ahmed and Taskin Ahmed took three wickets and thus restricted the Lankans to 257/9.
Sadeera Samarawickrama was elected ‘Player of the Match’ for his brilliant 93 runs.
Bangladesh Skipper, Shakib Al Hasan said, “Well, I thought it was a good toss to win at the start. We didn’t bowl particularly well. There was help for the bowler but we didn’t get the wickets but credit goes to Sri Lanka. We came back really strong but then Sadeera played very well. We needed an 80-100 run partnership to chase this. Our top four didn’t get enough runs and we didn’t bowl well at the start.
On the batting of Hridoy, the skipper said. “He batted really well. He played LPL here so he brought that confidence. He played really well. If he could have batted a little longer, but then there are always a lot of ifs and buts.”
Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka skipper said, “The Bangladesh bowlers bowled really well, especially Hasan Mahmud so I thought if I hit the same areas it would work well so I stuck to my basics. When there are no frontline bowlers someone needs to chip in and today was my day. Maheesh wasn’t able to bowl up front but at the end, Maheesh bowled in the end and the end the result matters.”
This is Sri Lanka’s first win in the Super 4 stage of the tournament and they will next play India on September 12.
Sri Lanka: 257/9 in 50 overs (Sadeera Samarawickrama 93, Kusal Mendis 50; Taskin Ahmed 3-63, Hasan Mahmud 3-57) beat Bangladesh 236 all out in 48.1 overs (Towhid Hridoy 82; Dasun Shanaka 3-28, Matheesha Pathirana 3-58) by 21 runs.