Sri Lanka completed a one-day international series whitewash of Bangladesh at Dhaka on Saturday, clinching a routine six-wicket victory in the third and final meeting of the two nations.
Skipper Angelo Mathews won the toss and elected to field first, and Bangladesh’s total of 240 for 8 from the allotted 50 overs was nothing more than mildly competitive.
It was a total that could have been far worse but for some late fireworks from Sohag Gazi, who smashed 23 off 13 balls. Mominul Haque top-scored with 60.
In reply, Sri Lanka were led by the sublime batting of Kusal Perera, who registered a majestic century on what proved to be a very comfortable afternoon for the favourites.
|Anamul Haque||c †Chandimal||b Prasad||2||16|
|Shamsur Rahman||c AK Perera||b Prasad||25||44|
|Mominul Haque||run out (Vithanage)||60||60|
|Mushfiqur Rahim||c Senanayake||b Prasad||30||37|
|Naeem Islam||c Prasad||b Senanayake||32||55|
|Nasir Hossain||c Priyanjan b Lakmal||b Lakmal||38||43|
|Mahmudullah||c Thirimanne||b Lakmal||5||12|
|Sohag Gazi||b NLTC Perera||23||13|
|Shafiul Islam||not out||15||18|
|Arafat Sunny||not out||1||2|
|Extras||(lb 2, w 7)||9|
|MDKJ Perera||b Rubel Hossain||106||124|
|HDRL Thirimanne||c Shamsur Rahman||b Mahmudullah||18||31|
|KDK Vithanage||b Mahmudullah||9||15|
|LD Chandimal||c Anamul Haque||b Rubel Hossain||64||70|
|AD Mathews||not out||20||26|
|SMA Priyanjan||not out||22||19|
|Extras||(lb 4, w 3)||7|
Saturday's clash provided a glimpse at the future of Sri Lankan cricket, as highlighted by this tweet from Cricinfo:
Sri Lanka will be without Sangakkara, Jayawardene and Dilshan for tomorrow's ODI. When did that last happen?— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) February 21, 2014
Mohammad Isam of Cricinfo soon answered their own question. Not since the 1999 World Cup had Sri Lanka entered an ODI match with Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene all absent.
Bangladesh had their own problems, robbed of talisman Shakib Al Hasan’s services prior to the toss after he was suspended. Wisden India explained the reason for his absence:
Shakib suspended for 3 ODIs, including first two Asia Cup games, for making inappropriate gestures in 2nd ODI vs SL: http://t.co/eXzwAznbtT— Wisden India (@WisdenIndia) February 22, 2014
Defending their 240-run total, there was some early hope for Bangladesh when Mahmudullah claimed two victims with only 60 on the board.
Lahiru Thirimanne (18) and Kithuruwan Vithanage (9) both departed without seriously troubling the scorers, but opener Perera remained defiant to keep Sri Lanka on course for victory.
Combining with Dinesh Chandimal, Perera helped put on a match-winning 138-run partnership. In an impressive display of ball striking that yielded five sixes, Perera produced the innings of the day with a score of 106, while Chandimal chipped in with a more-than-useful 64 from 70 balls.
Both departed late in the innings, but by then the job had already been done as Angelo Mathews and Ashan Priyanjan guided Sri Lanka over the line.
Mominul had done his best with the bat earlier in the day to make Bangladesh competitive, but a crazy attempt for a second run saw him run out by Vithanage for 60. His innings had entertained up to that point with eight fours, scoring at a run a ball.
The other Bangladesh batsmen all struggled. Dhammika Prasad’s extra bounce hurt the top order, accounting for Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman and Mushfique Rahim.
Suranga Lakmal, meanwhile, turned the screw lower down the order, conceding just 24 runs in his 10 overs for the gain of two wickets.
Bangladesh were headed for a score closer to 200 before Gazi’s late pyrotechnics. He hit three sixes to lift them to 240, but it never looked enough and so it proved:
Both sides now turn their attentions to the Asia Cup. Sri Lanka's first meeting comes against Pakistan on Feb. 25, with Bangladesh set to play India a day later.