Sri Lanka 314 (Perera 111, Mathews 48, Shafiul 3-62) v Bangladesh
Sri Lanka couldn’t quite do justice to the strong platform set by centurion Kusal Perera, handing 315 for Bangladesh to chase in the first ODI in Colombo. Perera played a fast-paced knock, hitting 17 fours and a six in his 99-ball 111, adding 97 and 100 for the second and third wicket respectively with Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis.
Sri Lanka hovered around the seven per over mark till the 24th over, and the hosts looked set for a total in excess of 350 runs. Bangladesh pulled things back in the last 13 overs but throughout the innings, they were hamstrung by poor fielding. Avishka Fernando, who survived the lbw chance, couldn’t quite take advantage as he edged to Soumya Sarkar at slip in the third over. Shafiul Islam brought the breakthrough, playing in his first ODI since 2016.
Perera and Karunaratne kicked on from the fifth over, and Sri Lanka quickly moved to 77-1 at the end of the first Powerplay, before the former struck three boundaries to reach his fifty in the 14th over.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz removed Karunaratne in the following over, as he mistimed a sweep after making 36 off 37 balls. Perera struck four more boundaries till the 20th over, and then alongside Mendis continued to build for Sri Lanka through the middle overs. Mahmudullah dropped a simple chance off Mendis in the 27th over and the batsman took advantage of the reprieve, as he went on to make a 49-ball 43.
In the very next over, Perera brought up his fifth ODI hundred with a boundary. The duo continued to add a century stand, but soon after, Soumya Sarkar made the breakthrough with Perera’s wicket. Mendis was dismissed in the next over, as he walked off after edging Rubel Hossain.
With these two wickets, Bangladesh came back into the game, but Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne motored on further, adding 60 runs for the fifth wicket as they pushed the total past 250. In the last 10 overs, boundaries dried up and Sri Lanka lost quick wickets, but Mathews’ 52-ball 48 got them to a 300-plus score.
The packed R Premadasa Stadium had a lot of reasons to cheer about, but they saved their best for the last over when Lasith Malinga, playing in his last ODI, walked to the crease accompanied by Percy Abeysekera (Sri Lanka’s one-man cheer squad) waving the Sri Lankan flag.
Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1195770.html?CMP=OTC-RSS