Sri Lanka got an easy win against Bangladesh in the clash of the Asian sides during their pool A match today at the MCG. Winning the toss, Sri Lanka elected to bat first and scored a mighty total of 332 losing only the wicket of opener Thirimanne. Bangladesh could only manage to score 240 in reply, before being all out. The 92 run victory helped Sri Lanka climb to the second place in pool A.
Earlier in the match, Sri Lanka got to a beautiful start after their opening batsmen scored a partnership of 122. Thirimanne scored 52 from 78 balls, before he was dismissed by Rubel when Taskin took the catch at third man. From there, Sangakkara and Dilshan carried Sri Lanka’s innings till the end, scoring an unbeaten partnership of 210 runs.
Dilshan scored 161 runs from 146 balls, hitting 22 boundaries. His partner, veteran batsman Sangakkara also smashed a ton, scoring 105 from 76 balls, hitting 13 fours and a massive six. Bangladesh displayed one of their poorest performances in fielding of recent times with dropped catches and misfielding. Rubel got the only wicket for his team, giving away 62 runs in 10 overs.
Chasing 332, Bangladesh lost the wicket of opener Tamim, who went for a duck when Malinga bowled him. Soumya and Anamul tried to accelerate the run chase, scoring 40 runs at a rate of 7.27 per over. Soumya scored 25 runs off 15 balls, hitting 5 fours before being dismissed by Mathews. Mominul(1) was the next batsman to go when Lakmal dismissed him, after Jayawardene took the catch.
A 43 run partnership in the 4th wicket by Anamul and Mahmudullah helped Bangladesh to claw back into the game. At 84, Anamul(29) was run out due to a miscommunication with Mahmudullah. Mahmudullah was also sent packing by Perera after scoring 28 runs off 46 balls, when Herath took a wonderful catch at fine leg. 100/5 in 20.4 overs and Bangladesh had lost their plot.
Veterans Shakib and Mushfiq tried to recover from there. A 64 run partnership in the 6th wicket helped Bangladesh to gain some momentum. Shakib scored 46 runs hitting four boundaries and a huge six from 59 balls. In the 32nd over, Dilshan made the breakthrough for Sri Lanka, picking up the most important wicket of Shakib. Sabbir and Mushfiq scored a 44 run partnership in the 7th wicket before Mushfiq was bowled by Lakmal. 208/7 in 40.2 overs and the match had already been won by the Lankans.
Skipper Mashrafe and Sabbir quickly added 20 runs in the 8th wicket before Dilshan dismissed Mashrafe. Sabbir Rahman(53) picked up his half century but was dismissed 2 balls later by Malinga. Malinga brought an end to Bangladesh’s innings at 240 by dismissing Taskin in the last delivery of the 47th over. He picked up 3 wickets, giving away only 35 runs in 9 overs.
During the presentation ceremony, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe acknowledged that poor fielding cost his side the game. He praised the performances of Dilshan and Sangakkara and hoped that this performance would not be repeated in future games of the tournament. Sri Lankan captain Mathews praised his batsmen and said that it was important for the team to peak at the right time, with the qualification to quarter finals looming at the horizon.
The defeat means Bangladesh drop to 4th place in pool A with 3 points but still manage to keep a positive net run rate(+0.130). They face Scotland, who lost to Afghanistan today, on March 5 at the Saxton Oval, Nelson. A win on that day would elevate their chances of qualifying to the quarter finals. Sri Lanka on the other hand, will face an out of form England at Wellington on March 1.