Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh 1st ODI: Iqbal, Shakib pummel Sri Lanka

Iqbal celebrates after scoring his eighth ODI century

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal scored a sensational 127, while all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan smashed 72 and took a wicket to lead their side to a 90-run win over Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Dambulla.

Being put in to bat first, Bangladesh lost Soumya Sarkar early on. However, Iqbal and Sabbir Rahman made up for the loss of Sarkar with a 90-run partnership, during which Sabbir brought up his fifty.

He was unable to convert it into a bigger score though as he was dismissed by Asela Gunaratne for 54 off 56 balls, which included 10 boundaries.

Sabbir scored his fourth ODI fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim fell shortly after, but Iqbal and Shakib steadied the ship with a 144-run stand, during which Iqbal surpassed his hundred and Shakib his half-century.

With Bangladesh having restored their dominant position, Sri Lanka were in need of a wicket, but they had to wait until the 46th over to get one when Suranga Lakmal removed Shakib for 72, which came off 71 balls and included four boundaries and a six.

Shakib made his 33rd fifty in ODI cricket

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Iqbal went on to make 127 off 142 deliveries, which included 15 boundaries and a six, before he was sent packing by Lahiru Kumara.

Thanks to a quickfire 24 not out by Mosaddek Hossain and an unbeaten 13 from Mahmudullah, Bangladesh finished on 324/5 off their 50 overs.

Lakmal was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Kumara, Gunaratne and Lakshan Sandakan chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 325 to win, Sri Lanka found themselves in trouble right from the get-go as Danushka Gunathilaka was trapped lbw off the bowling of captain Mashrafe Mortaza for a duck.

With Kusal Mendis and stand-in captain Upul Tharanga failing to have an impact, Sri Lanka were reduced to 31/3 in the 11th over.

Dinesh Chandimal and Gunaratne temporarily stemmed the bleeding with a 56-run partnership before Gunaratne fell to Shakib for 24.

Following Gunaratne’s dismissal, Sri Lanka began to lose wickets at regular intervals, including that of Chandimal, who scored 59 off 70 balls, which included six boundaries.

Chandimal scored a valiant 59

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

All-rounder Thisara Perera put up a valiant fight with a 35-ball 55, which included four boundaries and two sixes, but in the end, it went in vain as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 234.

Perera made a gutsy 55

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Mustafizur Rahman was the most successful bowler with three wickets, while Mortaza and debutant Mehedi Hasan Miraz snapped up two wickets apiece. Shakib and Taskin Ahmed, meanwhile, claimed one wicket each.

Tharanga was less than impressed with Sri Lanka’s performance, and said: “I think we controlled the middle period very well. But we bowled very badly and on the field also, we gave around 25-30 runs extra. We have to improve in all three departments. Chasing big totals, someone needs to get a big score. We lost three wickets in the first ten overs. Chasing 300, someone needs to get that big score, which we did not do today.”

Mortaza was delighted to have taken a 1-0 lead in the series, and said: “Obviously, it was important to win, especially when it is a three-match series, the first game becomes important. I think we played the perfect game today. If you look at our game, Tamim, Mushfiqur have all played for the last 10 years and are very experienced. If you look at the history of this ground, 250-270 would have been a par score. I think Tamim was phenomenal. Shakib also played very well and Mosaddek and Mahmudullah finished well.”

Iqbal was named Man of the Match, and said: “I had a lot of opportunities to score fifties, but I did not convert them. But the past is past, and whenever I have the opportunity, I want to score and help the team in the process as well. Batting till the 45th over is not easy, a lot of sweat goes down. We just kept our cool and kept rotating the strike. The way Shakib played was exceptional. I knew if I scored 135 or so, we could get to 300. That is what I tried to do. The heat got to me.”

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