Sri Lanka have finally got off the mark in the ongoing ODI Super League as they beat Bangladesh by 97 runs in the third ODI in Mirpur on Friday. Bangladesh failed miserably with the bat as Dushmantha Chameera ripped through the batting order after Kusal Perera's first century as ODI captain propelled them to a substantial total.
This is Sri Lanka's first ODI victory away from home in almost two years and with this win, they have lifted themselves off the negative points in the Super League.
Sri Lanka for the first time in the series won the toss and elected to bat. The visitors handed debuts to Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne and Binura Fernando.
Sri Lanka were off to an electric start and their opening pair added 50 in only 6.4 overs. Both Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Perera went after the Bangladesh bowlers as Tamim Iqbal chopped and changed too much inside the first ten overs.
Just when it seemed that the opening stand would take the game away from Bangladesh, Taskin Ahmed knocked over Gunathilaka in the 12th over. He contributed 39 to the 82-run opening partnership.
Taskin sent back Pathum Nissanka for a duck in the same over. A length delivery jagged back in and Nissanka had no option but to play the ball, only succeeding in edging it to the keeper. Sri Lanka suddenly were 82 for two from 82 for none.
Kusal Mendis, after Nissanka's dismissal, joined his captain in the middle. Perera didn't slow down despite losing his partners. Kusal Mendis struggled to get going but spent an hour in the middle before Taskin came back and removed him for 22. He added 69 with his skipper for the third wicket.
Sri Lanka were still in a great position at 151 for three in the 26th over when Mendis was dismissed.
Kusal Perera led from the front and brought up his sixth ODI century. He was given a couple of reprieves by the Bangladesh fielders. He was dropped on 99 by Mahmudullah.
Shoriful Islam came back and got rid of Perera in the 40th over. The southpaw scored 120 off 122 with the help of 11 fours and a maximum. He added 65 with Dhananjaya de Silva for the fourth wicket.
Sri Lanka were well-placed at 217 for four after 40 overs and expected to score somewhere around 300. But Bangladesh bowled exceedingly well at the death and fielded superbly. Shoriful Islam affected a brilliant run out in the 43rd over to send back Niroshan Dickwella. The bowlers managed to keep the well-set de Silva and Wanindu Hasaranga until the last over.
Shoriful Islam started the 50th over off in the worst way possible. He bowled a full toss above waist height and was hit for a six. The left-arm seamer went for 18 runs in the last over. Still, the visitors couldn't manage more than 69 in the last 10 overs thanks to some tight bowling. Sri Lanka finished with 286 for six after 50 overs.
Bangladesh spinners couldn't pick up a single wicket in this match. Taskin Ahmed bagged a four-wicket haul and Shoriful Islam picked up the solitary wicket of the Lankan captain.
It was a daunting task for Bangladesh as they had only once chased more than 280 at this ground. And the start wasn't as good as they would've liked. Naim Sheikh, who replaced Liton Das in the XI, got out cheaply. The left-hander edged the ball while driving a full delivery wide outside the off stump. Pacer Dushmantha Chameera accounted for his wicket. Naim made 1.
Shakib Al Hasan's poor run with the bat continued as Chameera got the better for him for the second time in the series. The all-rounder, who was out for a duck in the second ODI, perished after scoring only 4. Bangladesh were then in trouble at 9 for two.
Tamim Iqbal was looking good until he was given out caught behind Chameera. The Bangladesh skipper was really confident that he didn't edge the ball and reviewed it immediately. But there was a spike on Ultra Edge when the ball was next to the bat and the decision stood. Tamim was furious but had to depart for 17, leaving the hosts reeling at 28 for three in the 10th over.
Bangladesh never quite looked like getting close to the total. There were a couple of partnerships but they weren't enough. Too many dot balls hurt Bangladesh as the required run-rate kept on creeping up.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Mosaddek Hossain stitched a 56-run partnership for the fourth wicket but it was too slow given the required run rate. When Sri Lanka got the prized wicket of Mushfiqur in the 24th over, Bangladesh still needed 202 off 160 deliveries. The wicketkeeper batter failed to convert the start into a substantial innings and got out for a rather uncharacteristic 28 off 54.
The onus was on Mosaddek and Mahmudullah to bail Bangladesh out of trouble and try to get close. They batted together for 8.2 overs but couldn't really gain any momentum.
Sri Lanka put immense pressure on Bangladesh and forced Mosaddek to do something out of the ordinary right after his fifty. He attempted to play the reverse-sweep but failed to connect. Debutant Ramesh Mendis got him out.
Chameera came back and picked up two more wickets. He returned career-best figures of 9-1-16-5.
Mahmudullah was the last batter to go. He played few shots but it was all too little too late. Bangladesh bundled out for 189 with 7.3 overs still left.
Winning the first two ODIs, the hosts had the series in the bag already.
Dushmantha Chameera was adjudged player of the match. For his stellar batting performance in the first two games, Mushfiqur Rahim was named player of the series.
Sri Lanka 286/6
Bangladesh 189 (42.3/50 overs, target 287)
Sri Lanka won by 97 run