Thisara Perera’s brilliant counter-attack inspired Sri Lanka to a 13-run victory over Bangladesh in the first one-day international in Dhaka on Monday, giving the tourists the lead in the three-match series.
Perera smashed an unbeaten 80 off 57 balls to lift the tourists from a hopeless 67-8 in the 22nd over to 180 all out after Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field.
Sensing an opening, Sri Lanka hit back to bowl out the hosts for 167 in the 40th over of the rain-curtailed match at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
Bangladesh, riding on opener Shamsur Rahman’s 62 off 49 balls and 44 from Mominul Haque, were cruising at 114-2 in the 20th over when the batting came apart.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews claimed three wickets and off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake took another two as Bangladesh lost their last eight wickets for 53 runs.
Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim rued three dropped catches when Perera was on seven, 30 and 78.
“Those catches were important,” Rahim said. “But Perera attacked very well. I thought 180 was chasable after Shamsur and Mominul batted so well.”
“But we just could not get past the finish line. Losing close matches seems to have become a habit with us, we need to find a way to win,” he added.
Mathews praised Bangladesh’s effort and said he expected them to come back hard in the remaining two games.
“Credit goes to them, they bowled so well,” he said. “It was a good effort by Bangladesh. They are a strong team, especially at home, and we must improve our game further.”
Perera proved to be Sri Lanka’s hero after the tourists were left in tatters in a match reduced to 43-overs-a side from the stipulated 50 due to bad weather.
Perera and Senanayake ensured Sri Lanka did not fall below 147, their lowest one-day total against Bangladesh, by adding 82 runs for the ninth wicket.
Perera, who helped Sri Lanka record last-ball wins over Bangladesh in two Twenty20 matches last week, hit six sixes and four boundaries in a superb rearguard action.
Senanayake made 30 as Sri Lanka put on 113 valuable runs for the last two wickets after the spectacular collapse by the top order.
Bangladesh lost Anamul Haque off the second ball of the innings, which was caught in the slips off Lasith Malinga, but Shamsur and Mominul put on 79 for the second wicket.
Perera, who was named man of the match, broke the threatening stand by having Mominul caught at point for a fluent 44 that contained seven boundaries.
Bangladesh moved to 114-2 in the 20th over when their two main batsmen, Shamsur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan, were run out in the space of five runs.
Shamsur was given out by the third umpire after television replays showed the batsman’s feet in the air after his bat got stuck just outside the crease as he went to complete a second run.
Senanayake swung the match Sri Lanka’s way by removing Nasir Hossain and Mohammad Mahmudullah in three deliveries to bring it to 133-6 in the 29th over.
Mathews grabbed three of the last four wickets to seal the victory, which came when Robel Hossain became the third Bangladesh batsman to be run out.
The second and third matches will be played at the same venue on Thursday and Saturday.
Sri Lanka had already won both the preceding Test and Twenty20 series.