We all knew that Sri Lanka’s batting was their weakness and Bangladesh has exposed that weakness to its core in the opening encounter of the 2018 Asia Cup. Chasing down 262 runs on a dry pitch, in the second innings, was never easy but what happened at the Dubai International Stadium was something unexpected.
Sri Lanka started really aggressively and made 13 runs in the first over. They kept the momentum going in the second over. But after that the Lankans fell down like a pack of cards. Mustafizur Rahman gave Bangladesh its first wicket and Kusal Mendis made his way to the pavilion with a golden duck. Upul Tharanga was next to go. Mortaza’s ball came into the batsman and Tharanga cramped for room. He tried to steer it down to third man but got the under-edge and the ball disturbed his timber.
Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Perera did not do much for the team before returning to the dressing room and made it even worse for the Islanders.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews came to the crease and they needed his valuable experience out there. But he did not score a single run in the first 11 balls. It was a disappointing end for the captain as he got leg before at the score of 16. Mathews was the sixth man to be dismissed and the Lankans were in big trouble as they were 6 wickets down for the score of just 63 runs.
The Lankans could not gather momentum in the entire match and got all-out for a meager 124. They lost the match by a big margin of 137 runs.
The 20-year-old spinner Mehidy Hasan was the pick of the bowlers for the Tigers and took two crucial wickets. Captain Mashrafe Mortaza also picked up two wickets while Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hussain picked a wicket apiece.
Dilruwan Perera was the highest run-getter for Sri Lanka. He scored 29 runs off 44 balls.
While batting, Bangladesh’ Mushfiqur Rahim came out as the standout performer and played a brilliant knock of 144 runs off 150 balls. He was part of an important partnership with Mohammad Mithun 63 (68) before getting out to Lasith Malinga.
Lasith Malinga made an amazing comeback and took 4 wickets by giving away just 23 runs.
Rahim was named ‘Man of the Match’ for his amazing knock of 144.
This convincing victory will surely be a confidence booster for the Bangla Tigers and they would have surely made the big teams nervous with their all-round performance. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka needs to introspect as to what went wrong in their preparations that they had to suffer such a humiliating defeat.
Bangladesh 261 (Rahim 144, Mithun 63; Malinga 4 for 23) beat Sri Lanka 124 (Dilruwan Perera 29, Upul Tharanga 24; Mehidy Hasan 2 for 21, Mashrafe Mortaza 2 for 25)
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar