It was fireworks all the way in a sixes laden display by the Sri Lankan batters in scripting a sweet savaging of Bangladesh in a whirlwind batting performance in fashioning out a facile 6-wicket annihilation of the hosts. Sri Lanka made 194 for 4 wickets in sweeping past what was Bangladesh’s highest T20 international total of 193 for 5 wickets in the first of the 2-match T 20 series today at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka.
The magnitude of the triumph was best illustrated by the fact that the Lankans found no terrors in chasing down the record target set by the host team.
Sri Lanka’s openers Kusal Mendis and Dhanushka Gunathilaka fanned the Bangladesh bowling attack to all parts of the ground in posting 53 for the first wicket in just 4.5 overs. Mendis struck a lightning 53 off 27 in typical blockbuster fashion containing 8 boundaries and 2 sixes to take the Man of the Match award while Gunathilaka breezed to 30 off 15 deliveries hitting 6 boundaries. Thereafter Dasun Shanaka, promoted to No. 4 hammered an unbeateb 42 off 24 balls packed with 3 boundaries and 3 sixes while Thisara Perera breezed to an unbeaten 39 off only 18 balls clobbering 4 boundaries and 3 sixes. The unfinished Shanaka-Perera fifth wicket alliance put the icing on the cake for Sri Lanka in putting on 65 runs in taking their side to the victory post.
As it was, Bangladesh’s gamble of winning the toss and batting first ended on the wayside despite a valiant batting performance that was fronted by Mushfiqur Rahman 66(44b, 7×4, 1×6), Soymya Sarkar 51 (32b, 6×43, 2×6 and Mohammad Mahmudullah 43 (31b, 2×4, 2×6). Kusal Mendis was Sri Lanka’s most successful bowler in returning figures of 2 wickets for 21 off 3 overs. His overall all-round display culminated in the 23-year old been adjudged the best performer in the game.
Sri Lanka will press for a clean sweep of the tour of Bangladesh in the second and final T20 on February 18.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-