Sri Lanka threatened to squander what appeared an easy chase against a charged-up Bangladesh attack, but came through by four wickets with two balls to spare at Trent Bridge. Mahela Jayawardene, with a classy 43, kept his cool after Sri Lanka's openers failed to ignite but it was left to Chamara Silva and Angelo Mathews to steady the nerves before a wide sealed the match.
Bangladesh fought hard, but their efforts weren't enough to prevent Sri Lanka a win that will be a wake-up call for them. Batting first on a good track Bangladesh's top order failed to fire due to a kamikaze approach and that put plenty of pressure on Raqibul Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim. Bangladesh crossed 150 thanks to their partnership but the bowlers allowed too many runs early in the piece, with Jayawardene playing a big role, and Sri Lanka overcame a few late hiccups to clinch a tense game.
Sri Lanka's chase started eventfully. After Tillakaratne Dilshan slapped the first ball from Mashrafe Mortaza for four, Sanath Jayasuriya dumped Rubel Hossain for six over deep square leg and got four overthrows next ball. Mortaza came back well in his second over, allowing just one single, and Mahmudullah gave only two singles in his first over, the fourth. Dilshan clubbed Mortaza for two more fours but was yorked in the same over.
Jayawardene's controlled hitting kept Sri Lanka reach and then cross the asking rate. He reverse-swept, slogged and swept Mahmudullah for 15 in the eighth over even as Jayasuriya was bowled by Shakib Al Hasan for 29 next over. Joined by Kumar Sangakkara, Jayawardene strengthened matters. When Mohammad Ashraful called on Naeem Islam, Jayawardene weighed in immediately, sweeping past short fine leg before pulling wide of midwicket for four more. Another firm cut to third man followed off Abdur Razzak and when Rubel over-ran the ball at deep square leg the equation became 52 from 54 balls.
Bangladesh rallied to ensure it wasn't easy. Sangakkara fell trying to go over extra cover, and Jayawardene carelessly edged Rubel to Mushfiqur in a stellar wicket-maiden 14th over. Shakib allowed just one run in the 15th and suddenly Sri Lanka had gone backwards, losing their captain in the space of two runs. Jehan Mubarak and Silva prodded and swept uncertainly in the air and away through the covers as the run-rate inched ahead. With wickets in hand the pair was still content to deal in ones and twos but after three overs of such measured tactics Mubarak signalled the charge by launching Mortaza for consecutive fours. Mortaza got Mubarak and Shakib cleaned up Indika de Saram in the 19th over, but Silva and Mathews hung on.
Bangladesh, having been dealt a loss by Australia at this same venue yesterday, elected to bat on a hard batting track under sunny skies. Unfortunately for them, their top order failed to fire due to a kamikaze approach and that put plenty of pressure on Raqibul and Mushfiqur.
Farveez Maharoof's first over cost 15 - Tamim Iqbal welcomed him with a trio of forceful boundaries - but also accounted for Junaid Siddique with a slow legcutter. Then Ashraful turned the ball just wide of Nuwan Kulasekara, who collected with ease and whipped off the bails with both batsmen at the other end.
Batting was easy on this track and all that was needed was partnerships. Bangladesh knew this track from yesterday but when they failed to perforate the field for a couple of overs, Ashraful and Mahmuddulah tried too much instead of setting a platform. Both fell to left-arm seamer Isuru Udana in the seventh over playing away from the body and nicking to Sangakkara, standing up to the stumps. Ajantha Mendis kept Shakib in check and frustrated him into an ugly cross-batted heave.
Attempting quick runs Bangladesh's top order fell apart but a thrifty 70-run association between Mushfiqur and Raqibul helped them to a competitive score. Raqibul bided his time and didn't collect his first boundary until he'd faced 27 deliveries. He then opened up with some handy reverse sweeps and paddle shots. Mushfiqur hit 34 from 28 balls, including two clean sixes early into his arrival that cleared the stands over midwicket. Having picked out the deep midwicket boundary effortlessly in the penultimate over, Mushfiqur fell trying another in the last. Raqibul never threatened to run away with the innings but his unbeaten presence at the end of a wobbly innings ensured Bangladesh crossed 150.
In the final reckoning it hadn't quite given them enough to play with, but if they show the same courage in the actual tournament they will worry other sides.