Sri Lanka put up a clinical performance to crush Bangladesh by 70 runs in the third and final one-day international in Colombo on Saturday, securing 1-1 draw in the three-match series.
Under pressure to maintain their unbeaten status in a one-day series against Bangladesh, the home side made a desperate attempt to be rewarded with early momentum both with bat and ball.
Bangladesh did well to recover from early hammering by their openers to restrict the hosts to 280-9, but could not replicate the success with bat after an early collapse.
Unable to recover from 11-3, the Tigers were finally all out for 210 in 44.3 overs despite the best efforts of Sakib al Hasan, who played a defiant innings of 54.
Before the match at Sinhalese Sports Club ground, Bangladesh captain Mashrafee bin Muratza promised to play an aggressive cricket, which he said was necessary to win their first ever series against the Islanders.
But Sri Lanka pushed the Tigers to the defense line from the word go as two openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Upul Tharanga put 76 runs in first 10 overs.
Mehedi Hasan earned the much-needed breakthrough removing Gunathilaka
for 34 before Taskin Ahmed put a brake on their scoring rate beating Tharanga with sheer pace to bowl him out for 35.
When Dinesh Chandimal suffered a freakish run-out, it appeared luck was with Bangladesh in this as game.
Mushfiq displayed a brilliant reflex to accomplish another run out and took the catch of Kusal Mendis, who made highest 54 for Sri Lanka, putting suddenly Bangladesh on top.
With Bangladesh making regular breakthroughs, Thisara Perera launched a counter attack to score 52 off 40 balls but even that could not take Sri Lanka close to 300.
Bangladesh got the kind of target that they were looking to chase and should have kept their composure when Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar walked in with an eye on the history.
But Nuwan Kulasekara did not allow them to relax for a moment, striking in innings first over to remove Tamim for four before returning in his second over to hand one-down Sabbir Rahman a duck.
Mushfiq found a 50-50 decision going against him as he was judged leg-before off the first ball he was facing. It left Bangladesh without their top-three batsmen inside four overs, leaving the onus on Sakib and Soumya.
They did a fair job to stave off further collapse but lacked the energy and willpower to carry the side through.
Soumya left for 38 after putting 77 runs with Sakib for the fourth wicket and Sakib suffered immediately an injury concern that appeared to have disturbed his concentration.
The game ended as a contest once Sakib drove Dilruwan Perera straight to Gunathilaka at cover and Kulasekara did the rest finish with 4-37 and seal the contest.
Mehedi Hasan’s maiden ODI fifty, 51 off 71 balls, only delayed the inevitable.
The two teams will now play two Twenty20 internationals, respectively on April 4 and 6, in Colombo.
Source: New Age