Recent Match Report – Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI 2023/24

Sri Lanka 287 for 7 (Nissanka 114, Asalanka 91, Shoriful 2-49, Taskin 2-49) beat Bangladesh 286 for 7 (Hridoy 96*, Sarkar 68, Hasaranga 4-45) by three wickets

Bangladesh fought to the end but the 185-run fourth-wicket partnership forged by Pathum Nissanka (114) and Charith Asalanka (91) proved enough in Chattogram, as Sri Lanka secured a narrow three-wicket win to level the series 1-1.

Bangladesh’s fighting spirit brought the game close, but they were also aided by the indecision and doubt shown by the Sri Lankan batting unit. While the eventual margin of victory – three wickets and 17 balls to spare – suggests a relatively comfortable win, Sri Lanka had somehow got themselves into a position of clutching defeat from the jaws of victory when they briefly slid from 228 for 3 to 251 for 6.

The wobble left them needing 36 off 53 with the last recognised pair of Dunith Wellalage and Wanindu Hasaranga at the crease. Bangladesh’s exceptional ground fielding combined with the pair’s reluctance to take risks meant the equation dropped down to 20 off 26.

But any lingering nerves were settled when Hasaranga finally took matters into his own hands to strike two sixes and a four in the space of five deliveries to kill the game. He fell with just two left to get, leaving Wellalage to secure the winning runs.

Set a target of 287, Sri Lanka had fallen to 43 for 3 when Nissanka and Asalanka came together, and following an early period of fortune where some edges and mis-hits ended up safe, they set about their work.

While keeping the asking rate in check through their stand, Nissanka ended on a 113-ball 114 while Asalanka’s 91 came in 93 balls. Their dismissals within eight deliveries of each other weren’t ideal, but looking back, they had done enough.

The Bangladesh fighting spirit that had forcibly made this into a contest was evident not just late in the evening, but also in the afternoon. After two innings of substance from Soumya Sarkar and Najmul Hossain Shanto, it was Towhid Hridoy’s slow-burn innings and late onslaught that saw them hit back after Sri Lanka had set them on course for a far lower total than their final score.

Hridoy, who had come into bat in the 13th over, ended unbeaten on 96 off 102, an innings and strike rate that belied the acceleration he provided at the death to boost an innings that looked in danger of losing steam. Along with Taskin Ahmed, whose cameo of 18 off 10 also provided excellent support, the pair put on 50 off just 23 deliveries as Bangladesh scored 80 off the final ten overs – 54 of which came in the final five.

Before that, Hasaranga – who had gone wicketless last time out – had threatened to derail Bangladesh’s efforts by grabbing four wickets for 45 runs. Dilshan Madushanka also proved pivotal grabbing two wickets early on, and also completed a superb take in the deep to dismiss Sarkar. But worryingly for Sri Lanka (and perhaps even Mumbai Indians at the IPL), Madushanka walked off the field midway through his seventh over clutching his left hamstring.

Indeed Madushanka was key to Sri Lanka’s early offence, removing Litton Das and the dangerous Shanto – who had twice earlier been reprieved, first by a dropped chance and the second time by Sri Lanka’s failure to review a caught behind – before providing the fielding moment of the game to dismiss Sarkar.

After Sarkar had nailed a reverse sweep off Hasaranga destined for the ropes, Madushanka sprinted to his right and threw himself at the ball grabbing an incredible take with both hands in full flight. Sarkar stood there in disbelief, while the shouts of jubilation from Hasaranga provided insight into the pasting he had suffered at the hands of Sarkar in the lead-up.

One scalp then brought two, as a moment of madness from Mahmudullah saw him charge Hasaranga and swing all around a googly to find himself stumped miles out. This meant Bangladesh had suddenly gone from 130 for 2 to 130 for 4, and Hridoy and Mushfiqur Rahim were thrust into a sticky situation, but they excelled with their 57-ball stand of 43.

But just as Mushfiqur started to shift gears, Hasaranga struck once more. A tossed-up leg break on leg stump saw Mushfiqur miss a sweep, and the resulting appeal was both loud and long. But with umpire Masudur Rahman unmoved, Sri Lanka went for the review, which vindicated their excitement with three reds.

When Hasaranga then dismissed Mehidy Hasan Miraz a couple of overs later, Bangladesh were suddenly in danger of floundering at the pivotal moment in their innings – much like Sri Lanka had two days earlier – but Tanzim Hasan Sakib in a 33-ball innings of 18 proved an able and stubborn deputy, holding up one end as Hridoy kept the scoreboard ticking over. Hridoy and Taskin imparted the final flourish to take Bangladesh to a competitive total, but unfortunately for the home side, it was not enough.

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