COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lanka brushed aside Bangladesh by 21 runs in its opening Asia Cup Super 4 game on Saturday to notch its 13th successive win in a one-day international.
Sadeera Samarawickrama made an aggressive 93 off 72 balls as Sri Lanka posted 257-9 after Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and elected to field.
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka then bowled a tight length and grabbed three top-order wickets before off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana braved pain in his bowling thumb, and got his carrom balls going in the death overs, as Bangladesh was bowled out for 236.
Towhid Hridoy scored a valiant 82 off 97 balls to take Bangladesh close to its target before he was lbw to Theekshana’s carrom ball in the 44th over, effectively sealing the game in Sri Lanka’s favor.
Sri Lanka’s streak of wins is the second longest in men’s one-day internationals.
“The Bangladesh bowlers bowled really well, especially Hasan Mahmud. I thought if I hit the same areas it would work well so I stuck to my basics,” Shanaka said. “When there’s no frontline bowlers someone needs to chip in and today was my day.”
Shanaka removed openers Mehidy Hasan Miraz (28) and Mohammad Naim (21) in successive overs after the pair had put on 55.
Captain Shakib and the experienced Liton Das fell cheaply before Mushfiqur Rahim (29) and Hridoy revived the chase with a 72-run stand.
But Shanaka returned in the 38th over and immediately had Mushfiqur caught at midoff before Theekshana returned in the final 10 overs and hurried through the lower order. Matheesha Pathirana had expensive figures of 3-58 but wrapped up the innings by clean bowling Shoriful Islam.
Earlier, Bangladesh hit back from a couple of dropped catches as Kusal Mendis (50) and Pathum Nissanka (40) contributed a 74-run second-wicket stand.
Left-arm fast bowler Shoriful, who has been impressive in the tournament, had Nissanka trapped lbw before Mendis spliced an easy catch to third man off a brilliant short ball by the same bowler.
Charith Asalanka and Dhananjaya de Silva couldn’t make much impact but Samarawickrama accelerated in the death overs before he holed out off the final ball. Taskin Ahmed picked up 3-62 while Mahmud finished with 3-57.
“We came back really strong but then Sadeera played very well," Shakib said. “We needed an 80-100 run partnership to chase this. Our top four didn’t get enough runs and we didn’t bowl well at the start.”
Archrivals Pakistan and India meet on Sunday, with the game expected to be disrupted by rain. However, the organizers have slotted a reserve day after they changed the playing conditions with the consent of all the participants.
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