Dilshan Ton Scripts Lanka's Easy Win
Runs continue to leak from Tillakaratne Dilshan's bat as the dashing opener struck a composed 104 to steer Sri Lanka to a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Bangladesh in the opening match of the cricket tri-series in Mirpur on Monday night.
Chasing 261 to win, the Lankans cruised to the win with 5.1 overs to spare as their top order batted well to ensure they make a winning start to the tournament.
Dilshan's knock, his sixth one-day century, came off 122 balls with 12 boundaries as he almost batted through the innings. He fell when Lanka needed just 19 runs to win.
It was Dilshan's third hundred in the last six innings he has played and sounded a warning for India against whom the Lankans will play the next match of the tournament tomorrow.
Dilshan's 148-run second-wicket partnership with skipper Kumar Sangakkara (74) laid the foundation for the easy win as the duo took the match away from the host with their by their solid batting.
Earlier, Mohammad Ashraful struck a responsible 75 and shared two vital partnerships with Mushfiqur Rahim (35) and Mahmudullah (45) to help Bangladesh reach a competitive 260 for seven after being put into bat.
Sri Lanka were off to a breezy start, rattling up 35 runs in the first four overs but Upul Tharanga (14) could not last long and was caught behind off Ruben Hossain.
From there on Sangakkara, who hit almost scored a run a ball 74 with 10 shots, and Dilshan called the shots.
Shafiul Islam broke the partnership by getting Sangakkara caught behind, but it was too late by then.
Dilshan, wanting to finish off things quicky, went for a pull off spinner Mahamudullah, did not get the elevation and ended up in the hands of Naeem Islam at the mid-wicket.
Thilan Samaraweera (unbeaten 41) and Chamara Silva (unbeaten 4) completed the formalities.
At the start, Ashraful curbed his natural attacking instinct to lay the foundation for a good total as he struck only six boundaries during his 94-ball stay at the crease.
On the other hand, Mahmudullah was at his attacking best as he made his 45 off just 47 deliveries with the help of three fours and a six.
For Sri Lanka, Suranga Lakmal and Suraj Randiv were the notable wicket-takers with figures of two for 63 and two for 51 respectively.
It was, however, not a dream start for Sri Lanka, as the hosts opening pair of Tamim Iqbal (40) and Imrul Kayes (23) gave a decent start to the hosts' innings, putting on 65 runs in 12.4 overs.
Iqbal particularly was the aggressive among the two as he clobbered Chanaka Welegedara for four boundaries including a hat-trick of fours to milk 16 runs off the eighth over.
Keyes too picked up ocassional boundaries and then the duo dealt mostly in singles and twos to notch up Bangladesh's 50 in 10.2 overs.
But Sri Lanka soon made a comeback into the match and Bangladesh lost four wickets for just nine runs to the disappointment of the packed Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
Sri Lanka's most experienced bowler in the tournament Nuwan Kulasekara broke the dangerous looking partnership when Keyes top-edged a short delivery to give a straight forward catch to Thilan Samaraweera at fine leg.
Iqbal's over-aggression then caused his downfall as the left-hander fell to Tillakaratne Dilshan, who lured him to play an extravagant shot, especially after hitting the off-spinner for a four in the previous delivery, only to give a running catch to Suranga Lakmal.
New man in Raqibul Hasan failed to add on to the score and departed for a duck, thanks to a brilliant one-handed diving catch by Samarweera at slip off Lakmal and then captain Shakib-al-Hasan (1) followed suit to see Bangladesh in a spot of bother at 76 for four.
But from there on, Ashraful led the charge and first in Mushfiqur Rahim's (35 off 52) company added 58 and then shared a 95 runs with Mahmudullah to bring the Bangladesh innings back on track.
Mahmudullah stepped up the tempo when he slog-swept Randiv for a six in the 48th over before the leg-spinner got his revenge, catching the right-hander plumb in front of the wicket in the next ball.
With nine balls to go, Ashraful fell when he went for a non-existent single and Naeem Islam (22 not out off 9) drew curtains to the hosts' innings in style, notching up 20 runs off Lakmal in the last over. PTI