Sabbir 72, Mahmudullah 71* in Bangladesh's warm-up defeat
SL President's XI 354 for 7 (Weerakkody 67, Kusal 64) beat Bangladesh 352 for 8 (Sabbir 72, Mahmudullah 71*, Dananjaya 3-61) by two runs
Mahmudullah hit an unbeaten 71 off 68 balls and strode into some form in Bangladesh's practice match against the Sri Lanka Board President's XI, but his half-century could not see the visitors through as they lost by two runs, chasing 355. Also making fifties in the high-scoring encounter were Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Kusal Perera, Sandun Weerakkody and Dhananjaya de Silva.
In pursuit of the President's XI's 354 for 7, Bangladesh's result was of little consequence: the visitors rifled through eight bowlers, and the match did not have List A status. However, a brisk half-century against bowlers who have all played for Sri Lanka may buoy Mahmudullah, who was chastened by his omission for the second Test in Colombo, hit four fours and a six. Bangladesh's chances had seemed dim at 239 for 7 in the 39th over, until Mahmudullah put on a 101-run partnership with Mashrafe Mortaza, who hit a 35-ball 58. They couldn't quite push the visitors to victory as Mahmudullah could manage just one run - needing four - off the final ball.
Setting up the chase was Sabbir, who hit 11 fours and a six in his 72 from the No. 3 position, before Mosaddek contributed 53. Soumya Sarkar had also hit a 43-ball 47 to follow his good run in the Test series.
Meanwhile, at the top of the President's XI's innings, Kusal had struck the latest in a series of uncharacteristically slow limited-over fifties. His 64 (retired out) came off 78 balls and featured only four fours. His two half-centuries for Sri Lanka A had also come at less than a run-a-ball. These three fifties came after a long slump for Kusal, during which he was dropped from the Sri Lanka side in all three formats.
Nevertheless, his fifty and de Silva's half century now creates a little competition at the top of the order, with captain Upul Tharanga, and wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella also having opened the batting for Sri Lanka over the last few months. Sandun Weerakkody, who had played in the South Africa series, but has not been chosen for the forthcoming one, also struck a fifty.
There were no eminent bowling performances for the hosts, save for Akila Dananjaya's 3 for 61.
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando