Pathirana-inspired Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh in Asia Cup

Published September 1, 2023
Sri Lankan batter Charith Asalanka plays a shot during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Thursday. — AFP
Sri Lankan batter Charith Asalanka plays a shot during the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Thursday. — AFP

PALLEKELE: Fast bowler Matheesha Pathi­rana returned impressive figures of 4-32 to help Sri Lanka to a comprehensive five-wicket win over Bangladesh in the Asia Cup match on Thursday.

Spinner Maheesh Thee­kshana struck early before Pathirana joined forces to dismiss Bang­ladesh for 164 in the opener of the Sri Lanka leg of the 50-over tournament, a precursor to October’s ODI World Cup in India.

Sadeera Samara­wick­rama, who made 54, and Charith Asalanka, unbe­aten on 62, guided the chase in their key stand of 78 after Sri Lanka lost their openers early and slipped to 43-3.

Samarawickrama registered his fourth ODI half-century to raise the noise of the sparse crowd at the scenic venue.

He finally fell stumped off spinner Mahedi Hasan and Shakib Al Hasan soon sent back Dhananjaya de Silva, but the left-handed Asalanka pulled the team home in 39 overs with a winning boundary.

Asalanka reached his 50 in 85 balls to play a patient knock on a pitch where run-scoring did not seem easy. Skipper Dasun Shan­aka stood unbeaten on 14.

The bowlers set up victory with Pathirana, whose yorkers have earned him comparisons to Lasith Malinga, picking up key wickets including skipper Shakib and wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim.

Top-order batsman Najmul Hossain Shanto made 89 to play a lone hand in Bangladesh’s inn­ings after they elected to bat first but lasted for only 42.4 overs.

Theekshana struck first when he trapped debutant Tanzid Hasan lbw for nought while De Silva soon sent back fellow opener Mohammad Naim for 16.

Shanto, who bats at number three, stood calm after Bangladesh lost their openers and put on key partnerships including a 59-run fourth-wicket stand with Towhid Hridoy, who was next best with 20.

He registered his fourth ODI half-century and hit seven boundaries but the rest of the batting fell flat.

Pathirana got skipper Shakib caught behind for five with wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis taking a diving catch to his left.

Later he returned to wipe off the tail after Theekshana bowled Shanto with his mystery spin to end the left-hander’s 122-ball knock.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s run-out only added to Bangladesh’s woes, after a mix-up with Shanto.

Sri Lanka, who won the T20 edition of the tournament in Dubai last year, are co-hosting with Pakistan and will next play Afghanistan in Lahore.

Pakistan, who won the tournament opener agai­nst Nepal, will clash with arch-rivals India in Pallekele on Saturday.

SCOREBOARD

BANGLADESH:

Mohammad Naim c Nissanka b de Silva 16

Tanzid Hasan lbw b Theekshana 0

Najmul Hossain b Theekshana 89

Shakib Al Hasan c Mendis b Pathirana 5

Towhid Hridoy lbw b Shanaka 20

Mushfiqur Rahim c Karunaratne b Pathirana 13

Mehidy Hasan run out 5

Mahedi Hasan lbw b Wellalage 6

Taskin Ahmed c Theekshana b Pathirana 0

Shoriful Islam not out 2

Mustafizur Rahman lbw b Pathirana 0

EXTRAS (LB-3, NB-1, W-4) 8

TOTAL (all out, 42.4 overs) 164

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-4 (Tanzid), 2-25 (Naim), 3-36 (Shakib), 4-95 (Towhid), 5-127 (Mushfiqur), 6-141 (Mehidy), 7-162 (Mahedi), 8-162 (Najmul), 9-164 (Taskin)

BOWLING: Rajitha 7-0-29-0 (1w), Theekshana 8-1-19-2, de Silva 10-0-35-1, Pathirana 7.4-0-32-4 (3w), Wellalage 7-0-30-1 (1nb), Shanaka 3-0-16-1

SRI LANKA:

P. Nissanka c Mushfiqur b Shoriful 14

D. Karunaratne b Taskin 1

K. Mendis b Shakib 5

S. Samarawickrama st Mushfiqur b Mahedi 54

C. Asalanka not out 62

D. de Silva b Shakib 2

D. Shanaka not out 14

EXTRAS (B-2, LB-4, W-7) 13

TOTAL (for five wickets, 39 overs) 165

FALL OF WICKETS: 1-13 (Karunaratne), 2-15 (Nissanka), 3-43 (Mendis), 4-121 (Samarawickrama), 5-128 (de Silva)

DID NOT BAT: D. Wellalage, M. Theekshana, K. Rajitha, M. Pathiranage

BOWLING: Taskin 7-1-3- 1 (2w), Shoriful 4-0-23-1 (2w), Shakib 10-2-29-2 (1w), Mustafizur 3-0-12-0 (1w), Mehidy 5-0-26-0, Mahedi 10-0-35-1

RESULT: Sri Lanka won by five wickets.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2023

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