Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Colombo April 1, 2017

SL break ODI drought to level series


Sri Lanka 280 for 9 (Kusal 54, Thisara 52, Mortaza 3-65) beat Bangladesh 210 (Shakib 54, Mehedi 51, Kulasekara 4-37) by 70 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Kusal Mendis, who top scored for Sri Lanka with 54, was named Player of the Series for his 160 runs in three innings © Associated Press

Sri Lanka rode a fast start and a fast finish to a competitive score, bowled with discipline, and found some spirit in the field to defeat Bangladesh by 70 runs and snap a six-match losing streak that stretched back to January.

Perhaps encouragingly for the hosts, the architects of the victory were many. Upul Tharanga and Danushka Gunathilaka cracked 76 runs in the Powerplay, Kusal Mendis contributed a half-century, Thisara Perera produced a finishing salvo, and virtually all the frontline bowlers delivered good spells - though Nuwan Kulasekara was the best among them, claiming 4 for 37.

Bangladesh, meanwhile, will rue the batting collapse that cost them a series victory. Sri Lanka's 280 was competitive, but achievable, on a surface that remained good enough to allow No. 8 Mehedi Hasan hit a maiden ODI fifty. However, the match had slipped from them long before Mehedi came to the crease. Three batsmen were out inside four overs, and though Soumya Sarkar and Shakib Al Hasan staged a 77-run recovery, the middle order collapsed after that partnership was broken. At 11 for 3 it seemed unlikely they could hunt down the target, but at 127 for 7, the match was effectively sealed.

The result saw the teams share the ODI series 1-1, just as they had shared the Tests. Two T20s are scheduled for next week.

Kulasekara, who was added to the squad only after the series had begun, relied more on tight lines and intelligent bowling than his characteristic inswing to make incisions. He should have had Tamim Iqbal off the fourth ball of the innings, when an edge flew at a catchable height between keeper and slip - neither of whom attempted the catch. At times over the past few months, missed chances such as this have hurt Sri Lanka, but not today: Tamim sent Kulasekara a return catch two balls later.

Sabbir Rahman's dismissal in Kulasekara's next over perhaps had more to do with the batsman's loose shot, than good bowling - Rahman nicking a very wide ball through to the keeper. Kulasekara came back later to mop up the innings - dismissing Mehedi and Taskin Ahmed. These were his best ODI figures since November 2013.

Bangladesh's middle-overs capitulation - in which they lost four wickets for 39 runs - was largely the work of Sri Lanka's spinners. Dilruwan Perera recovered from a 20-run first over to have Soumya stumped, then had Shakib caught at short cover a few overs later. Seekkuge Prasanna also bowled Mosaddek Hossain and Suranga Lakmal had Mahmudullah caught behind during this period.

Through the course of the second innings, Sri Lanka also fielded better than they have all year, with plenty of sharp work in the infield, and visible pep among the boundary riders as well. The first-over missed chance off Tamim was their only real mistake.

Bangladesh too, had squeezed Sri Lanka during the middle overs, but were not capable of preventing the final surge that propelled Sri Lanka to a good score. They had had the hosts at 230 for 7 in the 45th over, before Thisara and Dilruwan Perera bludgeoned 45 off 27 deliveries. Thisara built his innings with a little more intelligence than has recently been seen in his batting, laying low for a few balls before venturing his more ambitious shots. He hit four fours and a six in his 40-ball 52, but was constantly looking for the singles and twos as well.

Earlier, it had been Tharanga that set the innings off apace. His runs came through delectable cut shots, and effortless drives. In the fifth over he played a pull shot off Mashrafe Mortaza that seemed languid to the point of being casual, yet the ball carried all the way over the midwicket boundary. After the Powerplay, Bangladesh would impose themselves on the Sri Lanka, first through good bowling by the likes of Mehedi and Taskin, but also through sharp fielding, with which they effected two run outs.

When Mustafizur Rahman had Mendis nicking behind to leave Sri Lanka 194 for 5 in the 37th over, the hosts were in danger of squandering their good start. However, Sri Lanka's unusually long batting line up bailed them out. Mashrafe Mortaza, the captain, collected the innings' best figures of 3 for 65.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nagule9045024 on April 4, 2017, 6:30 GMT

    This team needs to improve really well and to win the series.Teams like Afghanistan,Ireland,Bangladesh are doing exceptionally well in ODI format when compared with this Sri Lankan outfit.

  • nagule9045024 on April 4, 2017, 6:25 GMT

    With this win Sri Lanka has now registered 500 wins in international cricket(81 test wins,369 ODIwins and 50 T20I wins)

  •   Titu Zaman on April 3, 2017, 16:54 GMT

    A lack of determination from BD players let the team down. I cannot blame BD selectors this time as they have picked the right XI. However, players did not make it happen on the field. If BD players cannot beat weak SL team then they have no chances to win any tournament whether they play at home or on the road in near future. After winning just one game players forget how to compete next game. Unless all BD players have that kind of determination they need to win every ODI series on the road, this struggle will continue.

  •   Chathura Bandara on April 3, 2017, 5:17 GMT

    this SL team is still need lot of improvement though..dont know y some fans want to exclude Chandimal hes the only solid batsman in this batting line apart from some extent to Mendis ..agree both are not T 20 players but defenitly we need them in ODIS to strength batting otherwise on bowling friendly wkts against quality bowlers like stayn, andersaon (in CT) we r in high risk of getting allout less than 150+ ..we need two of these high class test bats Mendis,Chandimal ,dhananjaya in ODIs as bowling we r in high danger of having targets like 350+ if Thisara,Mathews bowl at depth..if they bowl just finish them off in less than 30 overs and should include wkt taking bowlers sandakan ,pushpakumara,aponso,sanjaya ,malinga etc to the team .we cannot hope much from bit and pieces T 20 alrounders

  • Amila on April 2, 2017, 21:29 GMT

    @ MAHBUB4149 and other BD fans; Pre-tournament favorite was BD. We heard the pre-tournament press conference from Rahim. Current BD squads are the best ever in the history of BD cricket. On the other hand SL squads are the worst ever since mid 1990s. BD had the best opportunity to win Tests 2-0 and ODIs 3-0 (at least 2-0 ignoring washed out game). So drawn series against SL are not wins for BD. Because BD are the stronger and experienced team by a mile (on paper). However I would like to congratulate BD for winning their 100th Test match.

  • crick on April 2, 2017, 19:14 GMT

    @CRZCRIC-Chandimal among best 15 players in his early years with almost 50 AVG and 80+ SR. Let's assist Mendis after 2 years of time.he is basically going through the same phase of Chandimal luckily Mendis is not moving around the batting order. It's true he didn't convert his 50s to 100 but who did,during last 2 years only Chandimal made runs and nobody support him in the other end,your argument is true if other batsmen scored heavily while Chandimal only scored some fifties..According to your theory first one to go is Tharanga then Mathews then Mendis

  • d on April 2, 2017, 17:17 GMT

    @CRICKEXP: like i said before this is not old school odis. so no point of compare with sanga mahela strike rates(see their strike rates in their last couple years) who played most of odis with old rules and tough batting conditions, and not to forget they always rotate strike without putting pressure on other batsman. Strike rate 74 and 85+ has some different. And his regular 70 balls fifties won't help team but only him.(125 ODIs only 4 centuries). look how poor his wicket keeping is. altogether he is a very ordinary player at the moment. This is not the chandimal we saw in his early days. He is lucky to be in the team because mathews is injured and has played 125 ODIs. There are good young players knocking the door unfortunatly they don't have the backing chandimal have. See kusal mendis already appear in the list with decent average and 85+ strike rate. Looks like you haven't seen how SA and England middle order running between wickets in the middle overs.

  • crick on April 2, 2017, 15:37 GMT

    @CRZCRIC- dude to maintain 80+SR Chandimal only need additional 5 runs in 100 balls, i am sure he will get there very soon. Every team strategy is different where India accelerate in middle overs and SA accelerate in last 15 overs and Eng do that in first and last 10 overs..So we have a game plane..Sanga and Mahela also SR below 77 that too having additional power play in the middle overs

  • Yohaan on April 2, 2017, 15:08 GMT

    Since the beginning of 2015 we have suffered 20+ consecutive series losses, home & away under Mathews. That was the real drought SL suffered too long.

    From the 7 series SL played Without Mathews since the last quarter of 2016 to date, SL have won 4 away (2 series in Zmb, one each in SA & Aus) & drew 2, loosing just ONE in SA. At least SL didn't loose any series except for that 5-0 drub in SA, which was unavoidable to even much stronger Aus as seen with a similar result in SA recently. If not for that washout, SL would have won the Odi series. Clearly SL wouldn't have achieved these results under Mathews, who couldn't win a single Series for us in Odis or t20s in past 2 yrs.

    So it is fair to say SL is currently doing progressively well (in fact much better than Mathews regime) with this mostly inexperienced bunch, lead by positive UpulT. They are clearly on the rise & proactively rectifying their weaknesses as seen with appreciable improvement in batting & fielding (2nd & 3rd Odis).

  • rajeev9986700 on April 2, 2017, 13:53 GMT

    Finally Srilanka came to terms with winning . Bangladesh has been a revelation in past one year . They are no more underdogs and can challenge the no 1 ODI side .

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