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| Dhaka, Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Bangladesh need 281 to win series against Sri Lanka

2017-04-01 15:21:38
Bangladesh need 281 to win series against Sri Lanka Desk:

Sri Lanka set off at a canter, looked good for 300, then were incrementally slowed by a resurgent Bangladesh, before a late rally saw them make a competitive 280 for 9. The hosts may feel that total is a little light after having been 76 for no loss at the end of the Powerplay. Bangladesh, however, may reflect that they should not be chasing so many, after they had had Sri Lanka at 230 for 7 in the 45th over.

Several batsmen made starts for Sri Lanka. Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dinesh Chandimal and Asela Gunaratne all breached 20, but only Kusal Mendis and Thisara Perera progressed to half-centuries, and even they were out for 54 and 52 respectively. Bangladesh's bowling meanwhile, was book-ended by disciplined spells from their captain. Mashrafe Mortaza finished with 3 for 65 after taking out Sri Lanka's lower middle order during the death overs.

It was Tharanga that set the innings off apace. His runs came through delectable cut shots, and effortless drives. In the fifth over he played a pull shot off Mashrafe Mortaza that seemed languid to the point of being lazy, yet the ball carried all the way over the midwicket boundary. While he - and to a lesser extent Gunathilaka - timed the ball nicely through the early overs, Bangladesh were collectively struggling to hit their lines. Mustafizur Rahman's third over cost 14 runs, Mehedi Hasan conceded 16 from his two Powerplay overs, and 10 runs came off Taskin Ahmed's first over.

Once the Powerplay was done, however, Bangladesh quickly set about imposing themselves on the match. Mehedi made the first incision in the 11th over, drawing Gunathilaka into an aerial drive that was caught at cover. Taskin then produced an excellent ball to remove Tharanga, who played around a quick delivery that straightened and hit leg stump.

Sri Lanka rebuilt briefly through a 49-run stand between Chandimal and Mendis, but soon suffered further setbacks through poor running. Chandimal was out is strange circumstances, lifting his bat after having initially grounded it in the crease, only to have Mushfiqur Rahim snap off the bails while the bat was in the air. Milinda Siriwardana's run out was more straightforward - he dithered mid-pitch, and was sent back by his partner, but could not make the ground in time. Save for one or two misfields towards the end of the innings, Bangladesh's ground fielding was excellent. And though Mashrafe technically dropped Gunathilaka early in the innings, that had been a tough return chance.

When Mustafizur Rahman had Mendis nicking behind to leave Sri Lanka 194 for 5 in the 37th over, the hosts were in danger of squandering their good start. A long batting line-up bailed the team out of trouble, however. Though Seekkuge Prasanna and Gunaratne would be out trying to kick-start the final surge, Thisara hung around long enough to land several big blows in the company of Dilruwan Perera. The pair put on 45 off 27 deliveries - Thisara hitting one six and striking at 130. Mashrafe dismissed both Pereras in the final over.

Sri Lanka 280 for 9 (Kusal 54, Thisara 52, Mortaza 3-65)

Source: ESPNcricinfo

Ends/ 01, 2017

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