Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur March 6, 2014

Mathews keeps Bangladesh winless


Sri Lanka 208 for 7 (Mathews 74*, Al-Amin 2-42) beat Bangladesh 204 for 9 (Anamul 49, Priyanjan 2-11, Thisara 2-29) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Sri Lanka's spinners effected a mid-innings trauma and Bangadesh returned the favour, before Angelo Mathews' collected 74 not out overcame a collapse and sealed victory. The hosts' bowlers made a game of the dead rubber, carving through Sri Lanka's in-form top order early in the chase, but a target of 205 had always seemed insufficient, even on a worn pitch. Bangladesh's lack of ambition both with the bat and in the field perhaps ceded crucial moments to the opposition, who strode home by three wickets, and one over remaining to extended their unbeaten run in the country.

The Bangladesh openers had made 74 before Ajantha Mendis made the incision that began a top-order haemorrhage - five wickets for 45 runs. Mendis befuddled Shamsur Rahman with an offbreak, hitting him on the pads with a ball that would have clipped leg stump, before sneaking one under Mominul Haque's bat four balls later.

Mushfiqur Rahim attempted an injudicious scoop off Chaturanga de Silva three overs later, and was also trapped in front, before part-time offspinner Ashan Priyanjan struck twice in his three overs. Perhaps eager to complete his second consecutive half-century, Anamul Haque advanced to Priyanjan's first ball, but chipped it to Lahiru Thirimanne at midwicket, who snaffled the chance in a diving second attempt. Shakib Al Hasan sought to spur a now-flagging run rate, but in the 34th over, an inside edge off an attempted shot through cover carried to short midwicket. His demise left the team at 119 for 5. They would never really recover.

That Sri Lanka's innings was not similarly derailed was thanks to Mathews' increasing appetite for finishing matches, allied with a sharpening cricketing wit. Sri Lanka never faced a tall required rate, so he shelved his familiar belligerence and forged an innings of restraint. He struck at 71 and only played three violent strokes in the innings - an advancing six over long off and two heaves through midwicket, one of which brought the winning runs. Bangladesh made a late surge, dismissing Chaturanga de Silva and Thisara Perera when Sri Lanka were in sight of victory, but Mathews did not allow losses to rattle him.

Sri Lanka's collapse had occurred at the outset. Kusal Perera swiped at an Al-Amin Hossain short ball, sending a thin edge to the keeper, before Kumar Sangakkara was handed his first failure of the tournament, nicking to slip as he cover drove. With plenty of overs remaining to achieve the modest target, Mahela Jayawardene may have hoped to bat himself into touch, but he was thwarted by his partner before he had made a run. Lahiru Thirimanne called him through for a single, then sent him back, after Jayawardene had traveled most of the distance to the other end. He was short by a distance, leaving Sri Lanka at 8 for 3.

Ashan Priyanjan and Thirimanne promised a sustained resurgence, as they became accustomed to the pace of the pitch, but a Mushfiqur hunch brought another wicket: Ziaur Rahman, who had bowled only 12 overs in the series, drew an outside edge from Priyanjan in the 15th, before Thirimanne departed eight overs later, as Rubel Hossain sprinted around from long-on to take a catch in front of the sightscreen.

At 75 for 5, Mathews and de Silva joined to provide the definitive partnership in the match. Like Mathews, de Silva began sedately, but soon was matching his captain shot for shot, showcasing particular ease against spin, as he mined gaps square of the wicket, and found the fence when the bowlers missed their lengths. Their march was measured and efficient, with 82 runs off 98 balls, but it was not without incident; Mathews edged just wide of the keeper on 21, and de Silva had two leading edges fall short of fielders. Mushfiqur was perhaps also guilty of allowing the match to meander. Too many of Sri Lanka's runs were achieved without risk.

Sri Lanka's decision to rest Lasith Malinga had eased the Bangladesh openers' task, but the hosts had begun cautiously nonetheless, seeking the same security at the top of the innings that had been the foundation for their plunder in their last match. Suranga Lakmal extracted away-swing and Thisara was accurate, but neither was a significant menace to batsmen intent largely on seeing them out. Anamul progressed largely in singles, but Shamsur was more reliant on boundaries. When the spinners arrived, he smote Sachithra Senanayake through the covers off consecutive balls. But the spurt would not last long.

Mahmudullah and Nasir Hossain kept the hosts afloat with a 55-run stand after the collapse, but when their expansive attempts were repeatedly thwarted by the slowness of the surface, they settled for the singles Sri Lanka were content to offer them. The batting Powerplay brought only 18 runs, and though they had set themselves for a dash in the last 10 overs, both batsmen were dismissed by Lakmal for 30.

Malinga was barely missed at the death as Lakmal provided the yorker-length balls. His penultimate over went for only two runs, and there were no boundaries off the bat between the 44th and 49th overs. Thisara knocked two men over after Ziaur Rahman broke that drought to lift the hosts beyond 200.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Kaustav on March 8, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    @ThilankaK, If Sachin Tendular is same as Chandimal then Sangakarra is surely same as Ambati Rayudu.

  • aniket on March 8, 2014, 9:24 GMT

    @ain surely don't know about cricket history then. The fact is when india started playing there was no pakistan in 1930's they were combined. And FYI that time india was under british rule, except eng, australia there were not many countries to play against nd there was no way a rookie can beat them. More over there was no airlines that times so travel was through ships , so one tour takes 6-7 months and eng, australia were hesitant to visit india. The fact is, the amount of cricket india played in there 1st 40 years bangladesh have played more than that in just a decade. Neglecting 2nd world war, 4 wars that india fought. Bangladesh got far faar more privileges like foriegn coaches similar label competitors to hone their skills. You can't compare beginning of cricket in BD to IND. And about hall of fame, you know nothing about kapil dev, javagal srinath nd anil kumble. India might have produced much bowlers, there is no comparison b/w the batsman india have produced to other SC team.

  • Manesh on March 8, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    @kohli_kuttu. lol. you need to read comments fully and reply other than bashing India! No need to prove your false identity! I know Who is Who!

  • nathaniel on March 7, 2014, 22:26 GMT

    @ Kangaroo_Land we Bd fans know BD is not a strong team but we will support our team regardless how bad or good it is, if you cant stand this fact then its on you. The games against pak and Sl were close, so its not a big deal that some cricket crazy Bd fans got bit emotional. I agree Sl made their ways up quickly and pak made it in good pace but india took very very long time to get there. Bd is improving fast in batting. New faces anamul, momenul, shamsur, marshall etc are highly talented promising batsmen and already praised by your indian, pak and Sl commentators but unfortunately balling is slow in improvenment. Once we upgrade our balling we will be decent team. We will inshallah become something faster than india became something let me assure you. Even after becoming something and playing for such a long long time, how many ballers has india produced so far to be included in cricket hall of fame ? If the answer is not impressive then why mock Bd before Bd become something ?

  • Jo on March 7, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    regardless BD did shoiw fight till the end. If not for Mathews, it should have been an easy win for BD. I could firmly say, BD leadership need training on tactical thinking and assertive decisions on field... If they manage to do that, they will first become consistent performers, then gain confidence out of it to establish the base bar few notches high on everything they do later... thats how world beating teams are formed isn't it?

  • Anoop on March 7, 2014, 14:41 GMT

    @ThilankaK: There is plenty of talk going about 1.2 billion and 20 million but this hardly makes any sense. Are you aware that cricket is played between 11 vs 11 on field and the size of population not playing a cricket match hardly has any influence on the match results. Of course, it is true that a larger population gives you a larger pool to select players from, but then again, it is tougher to find out who exactly are the best players in the country when there are a huge no. of first class teams. No wonder that team selections in india are more disputed than Srilanka. India has a much superior head to head record with Sri Lanka and that is enough to prove who is the better cricket team. Sri Lanka is yet to win a test match in Australia or India and still fans like you believe in talent and quality available in the country. Your team is also yet to win any major ODI tournaments outside the sub continent as opposed to India which has won ODI WC, T20 WC, World championship of cricket.

  • Senura on March 7, 2014, 14:19 GMT

    Look...SL,Pak and India are not unbeatables. They can lose to a lesser team on any given day if they perform badly. So without boasting about your team's PAST achievements and stats, please talk sense!

  • ARUN on March 7, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Pakistan is great sporting nation. Even if they lose the finals tomorrow, they will have a blast :o)

  • Kinshuk on March 7, 2014, 11:23 GMT

    @priceless1 u know exactly what I'm talking about. The odd win in Australia doesn't mean our teams are world - class.

    We won the CB Series ourselves some years back. But the fact is that apart from a couple of drawn series and a few test match wins the Indian side has little to show for its performances in Australia.

    Test matches might be a different format but, test match success goes a long way in increasing a team's profile overseas which often leads to greater success in the other formats as well.

    I've no illusions about the Indian side's weaknesses and m hoping that this young side shows some spine when it goes down under this year.

    I also know Sri Lanka is a distinctly average side with an ordinary overseas record. But that matters little to me. You guys can live in denial about your team. Doesn't matter to us. I'm more bothered about India's ability to play abroad.

  • aniket on March 7, 2014, 10:16 GMT

    Yeah a worn torn country like afganistan. You call pakistan your brother well good, but wasn't that the same country who have nearly cost the life of your legend, somebody was shot as well i guess. Who cares if india helped your board by playing end-less series with you. Who cares if india was the 1st country to tour when nobody was touring your country for security reasons. Well good for you. As for other sports in india, you clearly don't consider chess and snooker as sports right coz contains no.1 spot there. Saina nehwal is current bronze medalist, in badminton, sushil kumar silver medalist in wrestling. In olympics india's result is much much better then you guys. In football south asia cup is won by afgan but who was other finalist nd last 3 seasons winner. In tennis where ever you count india is and will be much ahead then you.

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