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01-Sep-2023 02:04:00 GMT
Ban vs SL - 2nd Match, Group B, Pallekele

Pathirana, Asalanka lead Sri Lanka to vital opening win

Sri Lanka 165 for 5 (Asalanka 62*, Samarawickrama 54, Shakib 2-29) beat Bangladesh 164 (Shanto 89, Pathirana 4-32) by five wickets.

Kandy: Half-centuries by Charith Asalanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama guided Sri Lanka to a hard-fought five-wicket win over Bangladesh in their Asia Cup 2023 campaign opener at Kandy on Thursday.

Chasing 165, Sri Lanka were off to a poor start as Dimuth Karunaratne (1) was cleaned up by Taskin Ahmed in the third over while Shoriful Islam sent back Pathum Nissanka for 14.

Kusal Mendis, the wicketkeeper-batter joined forces with Sadeera Samarawickrama to rebuild Lanka's innings. Their short, 28-run partnership came to an end when skipper Shakib al Hasan cleaned up Mendis for 5.

At the end of the first powerplay, Sri Lanka were 44/3.

Sadeera and Asalanka upped the attack on Bangladesh bowlers, with the former taking the lead.

Sadeera reached his half-century in 59 balls and it comprised six boundaries.

Mahedi Hasan ended the partnership at 78 runs, dismissing Sadeera for 54 (77 ball) after the keeper Rahim caught him.

Shakib brought some more life into the game, dismissing Dhananjaya for just two in the next over and reducing Sri Lanka to 128/5 in 31 overs.

Asalanka reached his half-century in 85 balls with the help of four boundaries.

A boundary from skipper Dasun Shanaka helped SL reach the 150-run mark in 36.5 overs.

Asalanka hit the winning four in the 39th over, guiding his team to a five-wicket win.

Shakib al Hasan was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 2/29 in his 10 overs. Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mehadi Hasan took a wicket each.

Earlier, fiery bowling spells by pacer Mateesha Pathirana and spinner Maheesh Theekshana reduced Bangladesh to 164 all out in 42.4 overs.

Electing to bat first, Bangladesh lost their first wicket in the second over when Maheesh Theekshana trapped Tanzid Hasan lbw for zero.

However, the troubles of visitors did not stop here. Dhananjya de Silva removed Mohammad Naim (16), who outside edged the ball to Pathum Nissanka at point region. The loss of both openers choked the run flow of Bangladesh.

At the end of the first powerplay, Bangladesh could score only 34/2, with Najmul Shanto (12*) and Shakib (5*) unbeaten.

Later, skipper Shakib Al Hasan (5) was removed by young pace sensation Matheesha Pathirana after he was caught behind by wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis.

Towhid Hridoy joined with Shanto, starting to rebuild the innings run by run. Shanto reached his half-century in 66 balls with a four on delivery by Shanaka.

Their partnership was cut short at 59 runs, with Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka dismissing Hridoy for 20 off 41 balls.

Pathirana continued to make inroads into Bangladesh batting, getting the big wicket of veteran Mushfiqur Rahim for 13.

Bangladesh's half of the side was back in the pavilion for 127 runs in 32.4 overs.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz was run out for just five by Dhananjaya and Kasun Rajitha. Bangladesh was at 141/6 in 36.3 overs.

Wickets however continued to fall for Bangladesh at regular intervals, with Dunith Wellage dismissing Mahedi Hasan (6).

Shanto, the lone warrior for Bangladesh in this innings, also lost his wicket to Theekshana for 89 off 122 balls, consisting of seven fours.

Pathirana continued to run through the Bangladesh batting, dismissing Taskin Ahmed for nill after giving an easy catch to Theekshana at covers.

Pathirana bagged his fourth wicket, removing Mustafizur Rahman for zero. Bangladesh was bundled out for 164/10 in 42.4 overs.

Pathirana was the pick of the bowlers for SL, taking 4/32 in 7.4 overs. Theekshana took 2/19 in his eight overs. Dhananjaya, Wellalege, and Shanaka took a wicket each.

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