First points for Sri Lanka in ODI Super League; Bangladesh take series 2-1
Sri Lanka 286 for 6 (Perera 120, de Silva 55*, Taskin 4-46) beat Bangladesh 189 (Mahmudullah 53, Mosaddek 51, Chameera 5-16) by 97 runs
After Perera’s 120 hauled Sri Lanka to 286 for 6 in 50 overs, Chameera’s three early strikes rocked Bangladesh. He later returned to take out two lower-order wickets to complete his five-for. But when he removed Mohammad Naim with his first ball, he had taken a wicket in his first over in all three ODIs of this series. In his following over, the fourth of the innings, Ramesh Mendis timed his leap to take Shakib Al Hasan’s catch at square-leg. Bangladesh were reduced to 9 for 2.
Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim couldn’t arrest the slide either. Iqbal was out to a contentious caught behind decision as he was given out attempting a dab outside off to the wicketkeeper. Upon review, it looked a tight call with the bat hitting the ground at the time of the ball passing close to the bat. Iqbal, understandably, walked off disappointed.
After Chameera’s three-wicket burst in his first spell, Rahim and Mosaddek Hossain attempted a rebuild by adding 56 for the fourth wicket, before Rahim became Ramesh Mendis’s first ODI wicket when he hold out to long-on for a 56-ball 28. After that, the innings simply meandered, with Mosaddek fighting to make a half-century before falling to a reverse sweep. Mahmudullah too hung around to make 53, but damage had been done at the top.
Earlier, Bangladesh paid the price for dropping Perera thrice, as he went on to hold the innings together. Shakib Al Hasan was the unlucky bowler on two of those occasions, which meant his wait to become Bangladesh’s leading wicket-taker in ODIs is set to continue.
First, Mustafizur Rahman couldn’t hold on to a reverse sweep off Shakib Al Hasan at point on 66 . Then, Afif Hossain dropped him running back from mid-on on 79, Shakib the unlucky bowler again. Then On 99, Mahmudullah dropped him at mid-off. He got to his hundred, his third against Bangladesh, off the next delivery.
Perera struck eleven fours, only two of which were his signature cover-driven boundaries. The majority of his fours came square on the legside, as he hit six fours between square leg and fine leg, while his only six was a mow over midwicket.
Perera formed a formidable association at the top with Danushka Gunathilaka as they got Sri Lanka off to their brightest start in the series, hitting seven fours in the first five overs. They added 82 before Sri Lanka were rocked with the wicket of Gunathilaka and Pathum Nissanka in quick succession.
Perera carried on to reach his fifty in the 16th over, consolidating the innings with his deputy Kusal Mendis. The third wicket pair added 69 runs in the next 13.2 overs, with Perera dominating the partnership. Mendis hit just a six in his 22 off 36 balls before skying one to Tamim Iqbal at mid-off. Iqbal had brought on Ahmed in search of a wicket around then and the fast bowler repaid that faith.
Sri Lanka’s scoring rate however dipped around this stage despite Perera and Dhananjaya de Silva adding 65 for the fourth wicket. Both batters tried to take their stand into the last 10 overs, but Perera felt to a tired shot off Shoriful Islam in the 40th over. Shortly afterwards, Niroshan Dickwella, one of four changes in the XI for this game, was run out for seven.
Sri Lanka managed 69 runs in the last 10 overs, but the good deeds of Perera and later Dhananjaya, on the face of a collapse, helped them tide over a collapse and score enough to clinch the game.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84