Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Perera scored 80 runs and took one wicket
Sri Lanka all-rounder Thisara Perera was the hero during the first ODI against Bangladesh in Mirpur as he scored an unbeaten half-century and took one wicket to lead his side to a 13-run win.
Perera was well supported by Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, who took three wickets.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim would have been delighted with his decision to bowl first as Sri Lanka opening batsman Tillakaratne Dilshan was caught by Rahim himself at midwicket off the bowling of Rubel Hossain for three runs.
Kusal Perera made a quickfire 20 before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Hossain.
Kumar Sangakkara only made eight runs before he was caught by debutant Arafat Sunny at mid-off off the bowling of fellow debutant Al-Amin Hossain.
Ashan Priyanjan failed to have an impact either as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Shakib Al Hasan for just six runs.
Things went from bad to worse for Sri Lanka as Dinesh Chandimal was run out by Al Hasan for 13 runs.
Mathews failed to stem the bleeding as he was clean bowled by Sunny for three runs.
Nuwan Kulasekara failed to trouble the scorers as he was cleaned up by Sunny for a duck.
Kithuruwan Vithanage was only able to muster seven runs before he was run out by Rahim.
Thisara Perera and Sachithra Senanayake stabilised the innings with a vital 82-run partnership, during which Perera brought up his half-century, before Senanayake was clean bowled by Al Hasan for 30.
Sri Lanka ended up being bowled out for 180 when Lasith Malinga failed to score a single run as he was caught behind off the bowling of Sohag Gazi.
Perera was left stranded on a career-best 80, which came off 57 balls and included four boundaries and six maximums.
Rubel Hossain, Al Hasan and Sunny picked up two wickets apiece, while Gazi and Al-Amin Hossain chipped in with one wicket each.
Chasing 181 to win, Bangladesh got off to a poor start as opening batsman Anamul Haque was caught by Mathews at first slip off the bowling of Lasith Malinga for a duck.
Mominul Haque and Shamsur Rahman made up for the early loss of Haque with a 79-run partnership before Haque was caught by Dilshan at point off the bowling of Perera for 44.
Rahman ended up making 62 off 49 balls, which included five boundaries and three sixes, before he was run out by Malinga.
Al Hasan only made three runs before he was also run out by Malinga.
Nasir Hossain scored eight runs before he was caught by Mathews at first slip off the bowling of Senanayake.
Mahmudullah failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught by Priyanjan at short leg off the bowling of Senanayake.
Gazi only made six runs before he was caught by Vithanage off the bowling of Mathews.
Mathews struck again just a few overs later when Sunny was caught behind for five runs.
Rahim managed to make 27 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Mathews.
Bangladesh were bowled out for 167 when Rubel Hossain was run out by Senanayake for four runs.
Rahim was fuming that his side had not been able to chase down a simple target of 181, and said: “Those catches were important and Thisara Perera attacked very well later.
“180 was chasable and we lost early wickets but Shamsur and Mominul batted well initially.
In the last T20 also we had a chance to win and it happened today again, so we need to find out what to do to win because the second ODI is only two days away.
“Perera batted bell with Senanayake, silly run outs and catches made the difference. We can’t play 30 overs really well and let off in the later 20 matches. We need to play well throughout the game.”
Mathews was ecstatic to have won the game, especially since Sri Lanka looked to be in all sorts of trouble at 67/8.
“Credit goes to Bangladesh to the way they bowled and took some brilliant wickets,” he said. “Thisara batted very positively with Senanayake and took us forward.
“Dropped catches happen in the game, it was a good effort from them and nothing can be taken away from their effort. Wicket by wicket we slowly fought back and the way our bowlers went about the game, amazing performance form the team. Bangladesh is a strong team, especially at home, we have to improve our game.”
Perera was named Man of the Match for his magnificent all-round effort.
“Sachithra and I did very well for us after losing eight wickets,” he said. “180 was chasable and they were batting well, but we did well to dismiss them. Everyone supported each other very well and it was a good teamwork.”