Sri Lanka clinch the series 3-0
Sri Lanka sealed a predictable 3-0 series whitewash as they strolled to a six-wicket win against Bangladesh in the third and final one-dayer of a disappointingly one-sided series. Bangladesh started the day brightly enough, but never recovered from a spectacular collapse in which six wickets tumbled during the space of just 26 balls. Sri Lanka knocked off a revised target with 24.4 overs to spare.
Bangladesh were unable to capitalise on Sri Lanka's decision to rest their senior quartet. Sanath Jayasuriya, Chaminda Vaas and Muttiah Muralitharan put their feet-up in the dressing room and Marvan Atapattu opted for a relaxed outing as his team's supersub, appearing once to carry out the drinks. Avishka Gunawardene grabbed his opportunity to impress with 52 from 61 balls, but Dilhara Fernando, the Man of the Match with figures of 3 for 19 off eight overs, was the day's star.
Bangladesh's meltdown came out of the blue. After being asked to bat first by Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka's acting captain, Javed Omar (18) and Shariar Nafees (21) weathered the first few overs with the new ball comfortably, adding 47 runs. Sri Lanka's early hopes of rolling over Bangladesh had evaporated and the visitors were even preparing for a pinch-hitter to turn the screw in the first power play.
But the entry of Fernando into the attack triggered the slide. Fernando, who has grown steadily in confidence since returning to the side during the Indian Oil Cup, trapped Omar lbw with his fourth delivery. Bangladesh sent in Mohammad Rafique as a pinch-hitter but his stay was shortlived as Farveez Maharoof, who returned to the team after being rested in the second game because of a minor hamstring niggle, then struck twice the next over.
The innings was really derailed when Nafees, Bangladesh's most resilient batsman in the series, clipped a catch straight to square leg and then Mohammad Ashraful was bamboozled by Fernando's trademark slower ball, a delivery that has provided him with a steady supply of wickets throughout his career. Ashraful lost sight of the ball momentarily and stumbled in front of his stumps.
Maharoof followed up with another lbw as Aftab Ahmed played down the wrong line and Fernando claimed Habibul Basher's scalp, courtesy of a fine diving catch by Kumar Sangakkara behind the stumps. Bangladesh had lost six wickets for the addition of just seven runs in the space of 26 balls. Reeling on 54 for 6, Sri Lanka went for the jugular, filling up the slip cordon like a Test match.
But Khaled Mashud and Tushar Imran held firm for eight overs, adding just 17 runs but at least halting the freefall. However, the introduction of the spinners, Upul Chandana and Tillakaratne Dilshan, triggered another slide as Thilan Samaraweera, playing his first one-day international for two-and-a-half years, scooped up a fine catch off Mashud at first slip. Mohammad Syed thrashed a Dilshan offbreak to extra cover and Imran clipped back a simple return catch.
Bangladesh's best hope of avoiding defeat was a sustained downpour during a day of unsettled weather, but the groundstaff mopped up so promptly after a heavy burst of rain just after the start of the Sri Lanka innings that defeat was unavoidable.
Upul Tharanga, the Man of the Series, did fail for the first time in four matches against Bangladesh as he lost his balance and played across a straight ball from Tapash Baisya. Dilhara Lokuhettige also failed to fire as a pinch-hitter, carving a short ball to third man where it was safely pouched by Syed Rasel. But Gunawardene and Samaraweera guided Sri Lanka home with a 56-run stand.
Javed Omar lbw b Fernando 18 (47 for 1)
Shuffled too far across the stumps
Mohammad Rafique c Lokuhettige b Maharoof 1 (51 for 2)
Leading edge to mid-on
Shariar Nafees c Tharanga b Maharoof 21 (51 for 3)
Flicked a simple catch to square leg
Mohammad Ashraful lbw Fernando 0 (52 for 4)
Deceived by full-length slower ball
Aftab Ahmed lbw b Maharoof 1 (52 for 5)
Plumb lbw to an angled-in delivery
Habibul Bashar c Sangakkara b Maharoof 1 (54 for 6)
Edged a forcing stroke off the back foot
Khaled Mashud c Samaraweera b Chandana 6 (71 for 7)
Fine low slip chance off sharp legbreak
Tushar Imran c & b Dilshan 13 (77 for 8)
Clipped back low catch
Syed Rasel c Chandana b Dilshan 2 (83 for 9)
Thrashed a catch straight to extra cover
Manjural Islam Rana c Tharanga b Chandana 17 (108 for 10)
Skied catch while trying hit-out
Upul Tharanga b Baisya 9 (24 for 1)
Played across a straight ball
Dilhara Lokuhettige c Rasel b Baisya 2 (30 for 2)
Flayed an upper-cut straight to third man
Avishka Gunawardene c Imran b Mahmud 52 (86 for 3)
Top-edged a pull and caught at midwicket
Thilan Samaweera run out 17 (105 for 4)
Could not beat a throw from short third man
Charlie Austin is Cricinfo's Sri Lankan correspondent