Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka in Asia Cup opener
Dubai: Bangladesh dominated with both bat and ball to outclass Sri Lanka by 137 runs in the opening match of the Asia Cup cricket tournament here on Saturday.
Electing to bat first, Bangladesh rode Mushfiqur Rahim’s career-best score of 144 runs to post what eventually turned out be a pretty competitive total of 261 in 49.3 overs.
Chasing what should have been an achievable target, the Sri Lankan chase never really gained any momentum and they were dismissed for 124 runs in 35.2 overs.
The islanders were off to disastrous start when Kusal Mendis misread the pace of a Mustafizur delivery in the second over, played across the line, and was hit in the pads plump in front.
Mortaza got rid of Upul Tharanga — the other Sri Lankan opener — in the very next over with a peach of a delivery which pitched on the off-stump line and moved in to disturb the stumps.
Mortaza then got rid of Dhananjaya de Silva in his next over to leave Sri Lanka struggling at 32/3 in the fifth over.
The Lankans continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. When Mehidy Hasan got rid of Thisara Perera to reduce the former World Cup champions to 69/7 in the 19th over, the match was as good as over.
Earlier, veteran pacer Lasith Malinga enjoyed a wonderful return to international action with figures of 4/23.
The 35-year-old, who was missing in action for around a year due to fitness issues, started with a bang when he sent back Liton Das and the experienced Shakib Al Hasan off consecutive balls in the opening over.
But Mushfiqur and Mithun put on a partnership of 133 runs in 24.3 overs to give a solid foundation to the Bangladesh innings.
Mithun scored 63 runs off 68 balls before becoming Malinga’s third victim in the 26th over.
Mushfiqur continued to battle on before Thisara Perera dismissed him in the 50th over to bring the Bangladesh innings to an end.
Bangladesh: 261 in 49.3 overs (Mushfiqur Rahim 144, Mohammad Mithun 63; Lasith Malinga 4/23) vs Sri Lanka: 124 in 35.2 over (Mustafizur Rahman 2/20, Mehidy Hasan 2/21, Mashrafe Mortaza 2/25).