Thisara Perera’s brilliant counter-attack has inspired Sri Lanka to a 13-run victory over Bangladesh in the first one-day international in Dhaka, 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 8-67 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 2-114 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.”
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, 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.