Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 1st T20I, Colombo April 4, 2017

Kusal Perera 77 aces Sri Lanka chase


Sri Lanka 158 for 4 (Kusal 77, Mashrafe 2-32) beat Bangladesh 155 for 6 (Mosaddek 34*, Malinga 2-38) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Upul Tharanga and Kusal Perera struck a 65-run opening stand © Associated Press

Kusal Perera made a roaring return to Sri Lankan colours, cracking 77 off 53 balls to lead the hosts on a successful hunt of Bangladesh's 155 for 6. That Sri Lanka had so few to chase was partly the work of Sri Lanka's bowlers, who made breakthroughs whenever a partnership threatened, though they were helped to that end by off-colour Bangladesh batting.

Mashrafe Mortaza, who as it turned out, was playing his penultimate game in the format, was by a distance the visitors' best bowler. He claimed 2 for 32 from his four overs, and only one other bowler - Taskin Ahmed - mustered a breakthrough. Sri Lanka sauntered to the target with seven balls and six wickets to spare.

This match was Kusal's first international since his unseemly Test outing in Port Elizabeth, for which he was dropped from the Test XI, then subsequently axed from the limited-overs squads altogether. Having returned to national reckoning via good innings for Sri Lanka A, Kusal outlined his value to Sri Lanka in an innings that showcased a little batting nous as well as characteristic brutality. The bludgeoned drives and whipped pick-up shots over midwicket did eventually come, but not before he had laid low for the first four overs; and the big shots were, in any case, well devised as well as nicely executed. Instead of trying to clear fielders as Kusal often does, he strove to hit even his most ambitious shots into gaps.

Having made only 5 off his first eight balls, Kusal smoked four fours and a six off his next seven, to help move Sri Lanka to 57 for none at the end of the Powerplay. Upul Tharanga, who had given the innings its initial impetus, departed in the seventh over, but Kusal stayed long enough to almost see the chase through. He reached his fifty off 31 balls, and when he fell in the penultimate over, Sri Lanka needed only nine runs, which they would proceed to gather over the next four balls. Seekkuge Prasanna was not out with 22 off 12 at the close.

Though their bowlers responded poorly to Kusal's shellacking, Bangladesh may reflect that it was with the bat that they made the more substantial mistakes. They had flown to 57 for 1 after five overs, for example, but then Sabbir Rahman ran a poor line to get himself run out, and Soumya Sarkar holed out in the same Vikum Sanjaya over. Suddenly, at 57 for 3, all that momentum they had developed was surrendered.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan fell playing expansive shots to slow bowlers, who should, in fact, have been less effective on this track, which retained a little grass and had been rolled until hard. Mosaddek Hossain and Mahmudullah put on 57 off 42 together to lift their side from 82 for 5, but could not quite crack enough runs through the back-end of the innings to lift Bangladesh to a winning score.

Lasith Malinga was especially good through this period, giving away seven and eight in his last two overs, in which he took the wicket of Mahmudullah with a searing yorker, having also done the same to Tamim Iqbal with the second ball of the match.

Rain before play had delayed the start by 45 minutes, but no overs were lost.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • nethun6224372 on April 6, 2017, 0:51 GMT

    though kjp is doing good in t20s,i believe thaat kjp mst only be used in t20s as a specialist

  • Sakuna on April 5, 2017, 16:20 GMT

    Dear Bangladeshi fans, ARE YOU HAPPY NOW!

  •   Titu Zaman on April 5, 2017, 16:07 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, BD players did not make it happen on the field. With current squad if BD cannot beat weak SL on the road then they have no chances to win any tournament whether they play at home or on the road in near future. Coaching staff must need to work with all the players for better execution on the field. Unless BD players have a strong determination that they need to win every single series then this struggle will continue.

  • Pawan on April 5, 2017, 13:40 GMT

    @Jury on April 5, 2017, 6:49 GMT: ......beginning of his career ? Are you saying after playing 4 years & 65 Odis (av26), still Kusal Perera is at the beginning of his career? If he had an iota of potential expected from him, sacrificing matches far too long, he would have changed those stats long time ago by producing results. The fact of the matter is, he completely destabilized the ODI opening spot with his record level of single-digit/low scores and his up front gate openings. He became a major factor in all those series losses suffered by SL since 2013 in including 2015 WC's vital QF. Look at his record in Eng; 11 odis / 129 runs /11.72 Av/73.29 SR and his mos recent away record in Zmb/WI triangular series: 5 odis /46 runs /11.50 Av /79.31 SR as Opener.

    The Only format he can thrive is T20. But, even in that we are yet to see his survival outside sub continent, on lively decks against top rated bowlers in conducive environments.

  • Manik on April 5, 2017, 13:11 GMT

    There was no purpose taking Saifuddin in this T20. They could have taken a T20 batting specialist and drop Mushy. Mushy needs time to settle down. That becomes waste of time for T20 matches.

  • azeem-6059075 on April 5, 2017, 12:38 GMT

    Congratulations to SL. What pleased me most is the vast improvement in fielding. It was good to see, especially the youngsters throwing themselves around. I think if Tisera is not going to bowl then maybe he should be sent higher up the batting order. I know that Malinga was injured & out for almost a year (or more) but he looked like a heavily pregnant lady.

  • riazem5418515 on April 5, 2017, 12:03 GMT

    i think DB still have a long way to go. BD must play with associate teams to avoid one sided boring matches. How long will BD will take to learn the basics. Same goes true for BD test team, ICC please give chances to other teams like Ireland and Afghanistan. BD are still below average.

  • auddin9692662 on April 5, 2017, 11:39 GMT

    Congrats to Sri Lanka from a Pakistani fan!

  •   cricfanMattegoda on April 5, 2017, 10:51 GMT

    Although Kusal played a good inning last night he is not going to be a good opener in the long run. even in the last match he didn't bat well in first few overs against fast bowlers. He is a slow starter and he needs some time to get going. for me he's more suitable for number 3 for T20s and number 4 for ODI's. In ODI's he'll be a good number 4 batsman than Chandimal. In T20's Dickwella and someone like Munaweera should open the inning. In ODI's Dickwella and Tharanga should open

  • MD on April 5, 2017, 10:51 GMT

    kanad_Boston on April 5, 2017, 10:26 GMT: Did u enjoy the total match bro? Sabbir ran a curve and missed the line by a fraction of second. If he ran strait, he could cross the line. With a curved path he donate his wicket. Nevertheless, I mentioned that SL is very good team.

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