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Liyanage: 'We never expected there to be so much dew'

Sri Lanka allrounder says they had a really good chance to win after reducing Bangladesh to 92 for 4

Dilshan Madushanka had Bangladesh in early trouble, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Chattogram, March 13, 2024

"We were on top at that moment when it was 92 for 4," Janith Liyanage said  •  AFP/Getty Images

Sri Lanka had Bangladesh at 92 for 4, chasing 256 in the first ODI. But then dew set in, and the bowlers struggled to be penetrative. This was what allrounder Janith Liyanage felt, having bowled five overs himself.
Through the back-end of the game, Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mushfiqur Rahim put on a match-winning 165-run fifth-wicket stand, as Shanto finished with 122 not out and Musfhiqur 73 not out.
Towards the end of the match, though, the outfield was essentially sodden. Sri Lanka did not take a wicket after the 16th over. Their bowlers were visibly struggling with the amount of moisture on the ball.
"We were on top at that moment when it was 92 for 4," Liyanage said after the match. "We thought we had a really good chance of winning the game. But when the dew came into play it was really hard for the bowlers to grip the ball. But they batted really well.
"Credit to the Bangladesh team the way they batted. Shanto played extremely well and, of course, Mushfiqur bhai also played really well."
Sri Lanka had, however, won the toss and chosen to bat, despite the T20Is in Sylhet having been affected by dew. "We never expected there to be so much dew," was the reason Liyanage gave for his team's batting first.
It is also understood that the dew was a surprise to almost everyone. There was no discernible dew over the last few evenings in Chattogram, nor was there much dew during the BPL.
It is possible there has been a shift in the weather in the last few days across Bangladesh, with the storm season possibly close by.
Although the dew made Sri Lanka's 255 difficult to defend, Liyanage did admit that it was too light a total, particularly after their openers had sped to 71 inside 10 overs.
"We got a really good start. Our opening batsmen played really well. But after that Bangladesh took three quick wickets. Then we had to rebuild.
"With the start we got we could have got 300 runs today. We were a bit disappointed about that."

Andrew Fidel Fernando is a senior writer at ESPNcricinfo. @afidelf