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15-Feb-2018 15:49:00 GMT
Ban v SL, 1st T20I, Dhaka

Kusal Mendis guides Sri Lanka clinch record chase

Sri Lanka 194 for 4 (K Mendis 53, Shanaka 42*, Perera 39, Gunathilaka 30) beat Bangladesh 193 for 5 (Rahim 66*, Soumya 51, Mahmudullah 43) by 6 wickets

Dhaka: Sri Lanka made easy work of an imposing total by Bangladesh in the first Twenty20 international in Dhaka on Thursday, to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match T20 series.

The foundations to Sri Lanka’s highest-ever successful T20 chase were laid by the openers Kusal Mendis and Danush Gunathilaka, whose rambunctious 53-run partnership – compiled in 4.5 overs – made a serious dent in Bangladesh’s 193/5 and enabled the middle-order to coast to victory with 3.2 overs to spare.

Mendis’ 53 from 27 balls was a gem of an innings. The much-vaunted Sri Lankan strokemaker has been rejuvenated since being promoted to open the innings in Test cricket, making 196 and 68 against Bangladesh across the two recent Test matches, and he was dominant again here, striking eight fours and two sixes before, having taken 13 already off Afif Hossain’s over, holing out to long-off going for a third.

Kusal Mendis was the deserved Man of the Match, and after a barren spell with the bat and a short time away from the fray to recharge, it now appears that Sri Lanka’s most talented and trailed young batsman is back to his best.

Earlier, Mushfiqur Rahim and Soumya Sarkar smashed half-centuries as Bangladesh posted a record 193 for five.

Mushfiqur remained unbeaten on 66 off 44 balls while Soumya hit a 32-ball 51 -- the left-handed opener's maiden T20 fifty -- after the hosts elected to bat first.

Bangladesh surpassed their previous highest T20 score of 190-5 against Ireland at Belfast in 2012.

Sri Lankan leg-spinner Jeevan Mendis claimed two wickets.

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