Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, only Twenty20, Pallekele March 31, 2013

Kusal Perera sets up Sri Lanka's win


Sri Lanka 198 for 5 (Kusal Perera 64, Mendis 37) beat Bangladesh 181 for 7 (Ashraful 43, Mushfiqur 39, Thisara Perera 2-25) by 17 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

A marauding Kusal Perera set the platform for Sri Lanka's 198 for 5, which proved 17 runs too many for the valiant Bangladesh batsmen, in the one-off Twenty20 in Pallekele. His 64 from 44 balls saw Sri Lanka travel at nearly 11-an over during the Powerplay, before their middle-order allrounders exploited generous bowling to close the innings at a gallop. Though three Bangladesh batsmen threatened to rally a forceful response, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah all fell before their side could mount a serious challenge.

Kusal's onslaught began from the second delivery which he whipped aerially off his pads behind square, before he picked up the fifth ball and deposited it in the stands and then blasted the next behind point for four. Like a young Sanath Jayasuriya with a ballet coach, Kusal flitted about the crease - venturing swiftly out of it on occasion - before sending the ball hurtling, with a rapid swing of the blade.

At 25 for no loss at the end of the second over, Mushfiqur introduced Sohag Gazi to change the pace of the game, but Kusal welcomed him into the attack with a mighty slog-swept six over cow corner. When Abdur Razzak came on to bowl, he was spared first ball, but slammed into the grass bank behind deep midwicket next delivery.

The fours flowed too: over cover, through point, behind square on the leg side - five in total, to go with four sixes. Kusal reined in the big shots when the field spread, rotating the strike first with Dinesh Chandimal, then Lahiru Thirimanne, and the first shot he mishit in the game was the one that brought his demise. He top-edged a cut shot off Mahmudullah, three balls after having sent him high over deep midwicket. When he departed at 100 for 4 after 12 overs, only a middle-order collapse would have restricted Sri Lanka to an average total, and the Bangladesh bowlers' generosity ensured that would not eventuate.

But despite the tall Sri Lanka total, Bangladesh batted so well, they might justly feel aggrieved at the officiating. The match was marred by contentious decisions - at least two of which had the potential to change the game's narrative dramatically. The clearest of these was Ashraful's lbw, which came off a thigh-high Thisara Perera full toss. Ashraful had struck two sixes and a four off the three previous deliveries, signalling an imminent sustained barrage, but it was cut short when the umpire ruled him out despite the ball having struck his thigh pad outside the line of the stumps.

Earlier, debutant Shamsur Rahman had been given out to his first ball in international cricket, after being struck above the knee roll, some way outside the popping crease. The first ball of the match, however, had been a close call for Kusal, and two more marginal decisions in Sri Lanka's innings went the hosts' way.

Bangladesh began their innings more slowly than Sri Lanka, hitting only 45 from their Powerplay overs, for the loss of Shamsur and Jahurul Islam. When Ashraful fell in the seventh over, Mushfiqur assumed the aggressor's role, but soon after, Mahmudullah also began scoring quickly. Mushfiqur first struck two fours in three balls off Sachithra Senanayake, before lifting a low full toss from Shaminda Eranga over the long-on fence two overs later. Angelo Perera had not had a chance to bat on debut, but his part-time left-arm spin disappeared for 17 off Mushfiqur's blade in the 13th over, to complete a six-over stretch that saw Bangladesh maul 72.

But in two balls in the fifteenth over, Bangladesh lost both set batsman, and with them, their hopes of a triumphant end to the tour. Mushfiqur top edged a gentle full toss from Senanayake to deep square leg, and next ball, a mix-up while attempting a third ended with both batsmen stranded mid-pitch, and Mahmudullah eventually given out, having not crossed his partner. With six wickets down, Mominul Haque then faced a required run-rate of 12 with five wickets to go and the tail for company. He finished unbeaten on 26 from 16, having hit three boundaries that made the end result perhaps seem closer than it was.

During Sri Lanka's innings, Bangladesh's spinners combined through the middle overs to force several setbacks, but a dropped catch off Angelo Mathews in the deep, borne from miscommunication between long-on and midwicket, cost the visitors a chance to keep Sri Lanka to a manageable score. Next over, with six wickets remaining and only four overs to go, Jeevan Mendis felt it appropriate to throw his bat early in the over, sweeping Razzak over midwicket, then blasting him over cover, to herald Sri Lanka's final charge.

The fast bowlers' indiscipline hurt Bangladesh further, as they continued pitching too short throughout the final overs, with several wayward deliveries served up as well. Mendis pulled Rubel Hossain high into the stands early in the 17th over, before murdering a short wide one through point next ball. When he got out, Thisara completed a sorry night for Shahadat Hossain, when he launched his over of criminally poor bowling into the night for 24, to leave the bowler with no wicket for 54 from four overs. Mathews, who had held the innings together after Kusal fell, finished on 30 from 27 deliveries.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nimmie on April 3, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    The Country's situation is as such the youth are a neglected lot; due to lack of sponsors and funds e. g. it was B'deshi companies that came to the rescue of holding this Test & ODI series. The inaugural SLPL too was held with thr help Indian sponsors and the 2 Test & ODI series against SA & WI too were cancelled in order to save funds, so this is how the things are taking place in SL. For information of all, the SLan youths' 1st Cl Cricket careers start only after leaving school, in contrast, when B'deshi Anamul Haque was sent to the last Youth WC in AUS he already had a 1st Cl experience of 40 odd innings. These irresponsible authorities foreign to the Game have very often failed to arrange most needed practice matches for youth, even before a big tournament in order to cut cost.The SLan youth aren't given appropriate incentives (compared to other countries), for them to continue with the Game, as a result many a promising players give up playing soon after leaving School.

  • Nimmie on April 3, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    All these decisions are part & parcel of the Game there is nothing new about it. The majority of the B'deshi fans and some media persons too are very emotional as if this kind of decisions has been seen for the 1st time. After all these Hawk-eyed TV replays aren't 100% correct that is why most countries still vary of using DRS system and there are some doubts and correctness over Hawk-eyed replays where the contact of the ball with the body cannot be precisely spotted. To the naked eye there was nothing irregular about those 2 decisions. By the way the B'deshis fans have given high highly value for their players (very well looked after by their Cricket authorities) who start their International careers as teenagers, because they do well at times against the SLan inexperienced schoolboy Cricketers. SLan youths have zero 1st Class experience when they take on youth teams of other countries where there top class administrators are. (2 B CNTD)

  • Nimmie on April 3, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    These irresponsible authorities foreign to the Game have very often failed to arrange practice matches for youth, even before a big tournament to cut cost. Therefore these raw talented players are sent to youth WCs straight from school without adequate training given and one may find 3-4 henchmen also in these SLan teams. However, when the talented players start playing 1st Class Cricket, they will become world class players in a very short time. Pls check stats of some of these young players who are yet to represent the Country(Angelo Perera,Kahusal Silva, Roshen Silva, Ashen Silva, Shehan Jayasooriya, Gayan Maneshan, Malinda Pushpakumara, Tharindu Khaushal,Umesh Karunarathna …. Although most of the B'desh players are young in age, when their experience is taken into account they are not second to a veteran of another country. Interestingly Almost all B'deshi National players have very poor 1st Class Averages.(Stats courtsey Cricinfo)

  • Prashan on April 2, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    @gnanzcupid, it is totally wrong to say Kushal Perera is only a T20 player. He averaged 50 in the ODIs against Australia in Australia. He only top scored for us when chasing 74 and was not out when victory was achieved that day. Also, he has scored the highest score by a Sri Lankan in the local 3 day format which is 336 off 275 balls barely 2 weeks ago. He is definitely going to be our future best and miles better than Sanga and Mahela. No one has ever scored a triple ton in our domestic 3 day format until Kushal Perera managed this achievement. Cricinfo please publish.

  • Jonny on April 2, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Its funny when these fans talk about Bangladesh playing away means no crowd rubbish!! we saw the crowd for this T20 game and even before that when they toured England especially in one of those games which Bangladesh won in England were packed crowds. People have work/school to go to so of course Cricket overall will struggle to get some crowd. But there were no crowd for South-Pak test series or even India matches with large gaps and the last matches between Sri-New :)

  • KH. RAFIQUE on April 2, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    @SL_rockz on (April 1, 2013, 16:29 GMT) This is the time you must take a big pause.I really want to know If that 2 decisions would go against SL and they loss, would say the same WISE talks or you would change your stands???Time to grow up...Frankly speaking we really don't care what you think but the way CRICINFO emphasize your comments that let me to reply....

  • Prashan on April 2, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    @BOND_OO7, absolutely buddy. We are after all brothers of the same mother.

  • Dummy4 on April 2, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    Dilshan and Sanga didn't play but in stead two umpires played a crucial role here to grab Sri Lanka's Victory by hook or by crook. They should be named MOM for their relentless controversial decisions in stead of Perera. Hat's off Sri Lanka.

  • Bangla on April 1, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    Thanks to SriLanka to host our Tigers. It was a wonderful tour, loved every moment of it.

    Majority of Bangladeshi fans support Sri Lanka against any team (except BD) even when SL was a minnow. I personally got addicted to cricket seeing SriLanka, and always dreamed of BD to be in cricket like Sri Lanka.

    This is just a game, there is no need to verbally abuse each other. No one will gain anything doing this.

    The players who played the games, did not fight or abuse each other and end of the game they all shake hands. As a fan we should also do the same. We just should support our team without abusing others.

    I apologies to all Sri Lanka if any BD fan hurt your feelings in any way.

    Long live BD-SL friendship !

  • Habib on April 1, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    SL_RokZ, you have clearly misunderstood the remarks made by the BD Captain when he said "I think rather than thinking about the leg-before decisions, we should avoid getting hit on the pads". He meant, in order to avoid getting wrong side of be bargain, BD players have to protect their pad under any circumstances. Because, they'll be given out if the ball hits the pad - irrespective of ball pitching outside off/leg stump. On the other hand, the appeal was completely ignored when Kusal was hit plum in front on the first ball. In the end, BD ballers with the help from umpire conceded the game, SL players didn't win it.