On their way to the top of the ICC’s World Cup Super League points table, Bangladesh struck off Sri Lanka from their list of teams against whom they haven’t won an ODI series. Only Australia and England remain in this list.
Mushfiqur Rahim’s masterly 125 got them to 246 runs on a two-paced pitch, before the bowlers packed up the visitors to 141 for 9 in a truncated 40-overs second innings to win by 103 runs courtesy the DLS method.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mustafizur Rahman took three wickets each while Shakib Al Hasan’s two wickets got him level on wickets with Mashrafe Mortaza’s 269, at the summit of Bangladesh’s ODI wicket-takers’ chart. His 122 wickets in Mirpur are the joint-most wickets at a single venue, alongside Wasim Akram’s 122 wickets in Sharjah.
But Bangladesh’s win was set up by Rahim. He was the glue that kept Bangladesh’s batting together after they lost Tamim Iqbal and Shakib in the second over. The match got off to a frenetic start when Isuru Udana conceded 14 runs off the first two legal deliveries of the match. But after he went for 15 in the first over, Dushmantha Chameera removed both Iqbal and Shakib in the following over to set the game up for the visitors.
Rahim found little support from Liton Das, whose opening position was questioned by BCB president Nazmul Hassan during the previous game. Mosaddek Hossain, who was making an ODI comeback after two years, was also under considerable pressure, but couldn’t impress.
Mahmudullah added 87 runs for the fifth wicket with Rahim after they slipped to 74 for four in the 16th over. The recovery was akin to their 109-run fifth wicket stand, from a similar position, in the first game.
The pair focused on milking runs in singles and twos, Rahim hitting just one four between the 19th and 38th over. Mahmudullah, after striking two sixes and a four in his 41 off 58 balls, fell to a smart catch down the leg-side by Kusal Perera. Meanwhile, Rahim struck eight of his 10 fours in the last 10 overs, scoring 47 out of the 58 runs as there was little support after Mahmudullah’s dismissal.
Bangladesh needed early wickets while defending 246 runs, and it came from debutant Shoriful Islam who removed Kusal Perera in the sixth over, with Iqbal timing his jump perfectly at mid-on to get rid of his opposite number. The other Sri Lankan opener, Danushka Gunathilaka, holed out to deep point off Rahman, having made the innings’ top score of 24.
Bangladesh’s spinners took over from this point. Shakib had Pathum Nissanka caught at midwicket by Iqbal. Mehidy had Kusal Mendis lbw, playing back to a fullish delivery. Dhananjaya de Silva suffered the same fate against Shakib shortly afterwards as Sri Lanka were tottering on 89 for 5.
Mehidy added Dasun Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga to his tally, finishing with three wickets, before Rahman added two more to his kitty – Ashen Bandara and Lakshan Sandakan – both caught trying to hit down the ground.
Sri Lanka only had their bowling to be cheerful about. Chameera and Sandakan took three wickets each. But the visitors couldn’t take advantage of Chameera’s first over double-wicket maiden, nor Sandakan’s luck after he had one wicket with a half-tracked and two others down the leg-side. Udana took two wickets while Wanindu Hasaranga’s only wicket – the googly that spun between Miraz’s defenses – was the best ball of the match.