Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka qualified for the final of the ODI tri-series after demolishing Bangladesh by 10 wickets in their clash in Dhaka.
Opting to bat first, Bangladesh lost opener Anamul Haque in the third over when he was cleaned up by Suranga Lakmal for a duck.
Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, who have been in superb form throughout the tournament, were unable to maintain their momentum as the former was run out by Danushka Gunathilaka for eight runs, while the latter was caught by Gunathilaka off the bowling of Lakmal for five runs.
Mahmudullah was unable to stop the flow of wickets, but Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman temporarily did when they amassed a 23-run partnership.
But, once Sabbir was taken out by Thisara Perera, Bangladesh’s collapse continued. Even Mushfiqur ended up falling for 26 when he was caught by Kusal Mendis at short midwicket off the bowling of Dushmantha Chameera.
With Sri Lanka slicing through the tailenders, Bangladesh were skittled out for 82, their ninth-lowest score in ODI history.
Lakmal was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Chameera, Thisara and Lakshan Sandakan chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Chasing 83 to win, Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga finished things off themselves as they put together an unbeaten 83-run partnership to lead Sri Lanka to victory with 229 balls to spare.
Gunathilaka ended up making 35 off 35 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes, while Tharanga remained undefeated on 39 off 37 deliveries, which included a boundary and three sixes.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza was disappointed with the outcome of the match, and said: “Tamim and Shakib have been scoring runs. Mushy did well but hopefully the others will come up with good knocks. They are working hard, so we can’t complain. Hopefully, the boys will deliver in the final. All the batters said it was a good wicket to bat on. Maybe the application wasn’t there. It was a bad day and hopefully it does not count in the final.”
Sri Lanka stand-in skipper Dinesh Chandimal was thrilled to have made it to the final, and said: “Before the game, we had gameplans, credit goes to the players. We got the energy in the bowling – especially Suranga. Upul and Danushka finished it off well. Credit to them also.”
Lakmal was named Man of the Match.