A thundering start with bat, and an incisive turn with the new ball ball set Bangladesh on track to a series-leveling victory, and provided a happy T20 swansong for Mashrafe Mortaza. It was in the first six overs of each innings that the game was won and lost. Bangladesh's openers were fearless inside their Powerplay, smoking 68 runs for no loss, and looking stylish while they were at it. Sri Lanka, however, slumped to 47 for 5 in their Powerplay, and their pursuit of 177 never looked likely to succeed from there. They fell 45 runs short, and the tour got its third 1-1 split, with the Tests and ODIs having had that same scoreline.
This Bangladesh victory despite a late hat-trick to Lasith Malinga
, who now has four in limited-overs cricket, though this is his first in T20 internationals. That hat-trick had actually come in the midst of a Sri Lanka resurgence. Having looked like they would concede 190 or 200 for much of Bangladesh's innings, Sri Lanka claimed four wickets and conceded only 10 runs in their last two overs. As it turned out, they had already suffered enough damage during the first 18 overs, however.
That Bangladesh's openers had forged that rapid stand was all the more remarkable given it was the second-choice opener - Imrul Kayes - who took guard at the top of the order, in place of the injured Tamim Iqbal.
It was Soumya Sarkar, however who truly shone among the pair. There was a timeless serenity to Soumya's hitting. He leant back and smote Lasith Malinga behind point first ball, and was soon lifting Vikum Sanjaya over long off and cracking him over cover, in the fourth over. He also hit Malinga for successive fours in the sixth over, and though he was dismissed soon after the Powerplay had ended, had produced perhaps the highest-impact innings of the match - 34 runs having come from the 17 balls he faced. Kayes, meanwhile, himself motored to 36 before he was run out in the eighth over.
Shakib Al Hasan
then ensured the innings did not lose momentum, surviving two early dropped chances in the space of three balls, but continuing to attack despite this. Bangladesh were well-placed to attempt a score of over 180. The late blur of wickets scuppered those ambitions however - though 176 for 9 seemed like a good score nonetheless.
Shakib then opened the bowling and dismissed Kusal Perera - Sri Lanka's hero of the first match - and the opposition did not recover from there. Dilshan Munaweera holed out in Shakib's next over, before Upul Tharanga sent a catch to mid on after making 23 off 21. When Mustafizur Rahman
's introduction brought the wickets of Asela Gunaratne and Milinda Siriwardana off successive deliveries, Sri Lanka were reeling.
Chamara Kapugedara attempted a recovery, hitting 50 off 35 balls, but once Thisara Perera and Seekkuge Prasanna played their small hands and departed as well, there was too much left for him to do. Kapugedara eventually fell to the best bowler of the evening - Mustafizur - in the 17th over. With his departure Sri Lanka's hopes were extinguished, and Bangladesh completed the final formalities, taking the last two wickets by the end of the 18th over. Mustafizur wound up with 4 for 21 from three overs.