Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 1st T20: Sri Lanka make history to go 1-0 up

Kusal Mendis 53 Bangladesh Sri Lanka 1st T20 Dhaka cricket

Kusal Mendis struck his first half-century to help Sri Lanka complete their highest successful chase in Twenty20 Internationals

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Sri Lanka chased down a mammoth target of 194, their highest successful chase in Twenty20 Internationals, to crush Bangladesh by six wickets in the first Twenty20 International in Dhaka.

Opting to bat first, Bangladesh got off to a flyer as Soumya Sarkar and debutant Zakir Hasan amassed a 49-run partnership in just under four overs before Zakir was clean bowled by Danushka Gunathilaka for 10.

Soumya and Mushfiqur Rahim kept the runs flowing with a 51-run partnership, during which Sarkar brought up his fifty.

Soumya Sarkar 51 Bangladesh Sri lanka 1st T20 Dhaka cricket

Soumya Sarkar scored his maiden Twenty20 International fifty

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

However, shortly after doing so, he was given out lbw off the bowling of Jeevan Mendis for 51, which came off 32 balls and included six boundaries and two sixes.

Jeevan struck again two balls later as debutant Afif Hossain was caught behind for a duck.

Rahim and stand-in captain Mahmudullah stabilised the innings with a 73-run partnership, during which Rahim registered his fifty, before Mahmudullah was dismissed by Isuru Udana for a 31-ball 43, which included two boundaries and two sixes.

Mushfiqur Rahim 66 Bangladesh Sri Lanka 1st T20 Dhaka cricket

Mushfiqur Rahim’s career-best score went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Even though Sabbir Rahman was on his way back to the pavilion soon after, Bangladesh finished on 193/5, which is their highest score in Twenty20 Internationals, thanks to Rahim’s unbeaten 66, which came off 44 deliveries and included seven boundaries and a six.

Jeevan was the pick of the bowlers with two wickets, while Gunathilaka, Udana and Thisara Perera chipped in with one wicket apiece.

Chasing 194 to win, Sri Lanka made a solid start to their innings as Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis forged a 53-run partnership before Gunathilaka was stumped by Rahim off the bowling of debutant Nazmul Islam for 30.

Kusal went on to score 53 off 27 balls, which included eight boundaries and two sixes, before he was caught by Sarkar at long-off off the bowling of Afif.

Upul Tharanga only made four runs, while wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella didn’t fare much better as he was removed by Rubel Hossain for 11.

However, Dasun Shanaka and Thisara not only steadied the ship, but also finished things off as they put together an unbeaten 65-run stand.

Shanaka finished on 42 off 24 balls, which included three boundaries and three sixes, while Thisara remained undefeated on 39 off 18 deliveries, which included four boundaries and three sixes.

Nazmul was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Rubel and Afif claimed one wicket each.

Mahmudullah was disappointed to have lost, and said: “I think we were 10-15 runs short. We should’ve scored over 200. Mushi at No. 3 was quite a bit of change, but Soumya and Zakir started well. Credit goes to the SL batters, though, and we didn’t apply enough pressure.

Having Afif and the others gives us a bit more depth in the batting, but we didn’t execute our lengths with the ball. Hope to finish the season on a high in Sylhet.”

Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal was delighted to have won, and said: “We didn’t think the wicket will be this good. It was a good toss to lose, and credit goes to the batsmen – they played outstanding cricket. It’s never easy chasing 194 on any wicket.

“Before the game started, our plan was to keep the right-left combination going. At the same time, we tried keeping a power hitter: that’s what we did, and I’m glad it worked. Kusal, Gunathilaka, Thisara, Dasun were excellent. We all know Bangladesh are really good at home, so we never underestimate them.”

Kusal was named Man of the Match, and said: “Very happy to get these runs. Yes, at the start, I wasn’t in the XI, but the staff helped me prepare for today’s game. I was told to play my normal game (like in ODIs), and I did exactly that.”

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