Under coach Chandika Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka recovered after consecutive defeats to complete a hat trick of wins and take the tri series beating the hosts for the second time quite comprehensively at the Shere Bangla International Stadium over the weekend. Sri Lanka won the final by 79 runs, restricting Bangladesh to just 142 in 41 overs.
Senior batsman Upul Tharanga was adjudged player of the match for his outstanding contribution with the bat.
“It was very difficult to score. According to the wicket and according to the plan, we batted really well. It was very difficult for even the best of batsmen to score. But Dickwella batted very well and gave us momentum. We knew we got a decent score and the first 10 overs would be crucial. Dushmantha bowled very well and the lines and lengths were very good,” he said at the post match presentation.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first, the Sri Lankan top order showed plenty of intent, taking on the Bangladesh bowlers despite the fall of wickets from one end. Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga’s contribution followed by a good hand from skipper Dinesh Chandimal steered the side to 221 in 50 overs.
The total was below par but the wicket generated uneven bounce and a few stayed low creating plenty of problems for the batsman.
In response, Bangladesh lost three early wickets in quick succession. Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim tried to steady the the innings but the partnership was broken by spinner Akila Dhananjaya. After Mahmudullah’s dismissal, Lahiru Madushanka wrapped up the innings for Sri Lanka, becoming the fourth international cricketer to bag a hat-trick on debut.
Talking points from the tri-series
We’ve narrowed down five talking points from Sri Lanka’s remarkable tri series win over Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
Thisara Perera back to his very best
All-rounder Thisara Perera was at his absolute best throughout the seven match series. In five matches, he picked 11 wickets and scored a total of 134 runs with a best of 64. Thisara failed to contribute in the final but was adjudged player of the series for his brilliance throughout the short tournament.
Danushka Gunathilaka can lift a team with one stop
Kusal Perera’s injury went in favor of Danushka Gunathilaka who made good use of the opportunity, especially on the field. His agility and commitment lifted the side whenever the opposition tried to capitalise.
He was involved in a run out and took an outstanding catch in the 6th ODI against Bangladesh. Danushka was also good with the bat on top of the order.
Batting needs more work
Kusal Mendis and Asela Gunaratne failed to make an impact in the series despite showcasing rare glimpses of flair. Mendis smashed consecutive sixes to dismantle Mehedi Hasan but fell for Mashrafe’s trap in the very next over. Mendis has to work on his consistency and Asela as to be a bit more responsible down the order.
Sri Lanka will play Bangladesh in two tests starting on the 31st of January 2018.
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