Well, not wholly true … Thisara Perera and Sachitra Senanayake deserve considerable credit for the batting recovery effected as the ninth-wicket pair. Michael Roberts
Two spectacular batting collapses adorned the first ODI, one more dramatic than the other, causing amusement, ridicule and fear at a half-filled Shere Bangla National Stadium. Sri Lanka first slipped to 67 for 8 in 21.3 overs, after which Thisara Perera put together a proper rescue act and gave the visitors a lifeline, a score of 180 in 40 overs. The home side fell the other way, from 114 for 2 to 167 all out – losing 53 for 8 when they were cruising. It was the latter that had more impact on the result, as Sri Lanka ended up winning by 13 runs in a match shortened by rain to 43 overs.
Angelo Mathews took three wickets while Sachithra Senanayake took two, but despite their accuracy in patches, it wasn’t the bowlers who won the game, it was the Bangladesh batsmen who lost it.
The chase began well though Bangladesh lost Anamul Haque early to lack of footwork as he edged Lasith Malinga in the first over. Mominul Haque and Shamsur Rahman added 79 for the second wicket, before Mominul too showed little footwork as he holed out at backward point. Shamsur however was batting superbly, hooking, pulling and slashing with glee, as he moved to his second consecutive ODI fifty. Thirty-five runs were added for the third wicket, and Bangladesh had brought their required run-rate below three an over.
The collapse began with a freak run-out. Shamsur was batting like he owned Mirpur, having reached 62 off 48 balls, when he heaved Nuwan Kulasekara. There were two runs for the taking, and as Shamsur dragged his bat to complete the second, his bat got jammed just short of the crease, and was wrenched from his grip. Kumar Sangakkara casually took the bails off, more as a routine than in a run-out attempt. Then he turned round to see Shamsur’s bat lying out of the crease, and appealed for the run-out, which was given after nearly a dozen replays.
It was 114 for 3 then, and three overs later, Shakib was run out, inches short of his crease. Nasir battled, but he fell to extravagance, edging to slip in the 29th over, Bangladesh needing 48 more to win.
Mahmudullah came to the crease, almost got out the first ball, and then tapped the next delivery to forward short-leg’s lap. Sohag Gazi promised runs, but not for too long. His slog found mid-off, and Bangladesh had lost everyone in the line-up who could bat, barring captain Mushfiqur Rahim. Arafat Sunny gave him company for a while before both got out, Mushfiqur edging an attempted scoop off his opposite number, Mathews.
Bangladesh almost matched Sri Lanka, but Thisara Perera did what he does best: bat well under pressure. He has been known for rescue acts, and this was one of his best. From 67 for 8, he led the fightback with risk in his mind. He started off with a slogged boundary, then was dropped on 7 by Sohag Gazi, catchable height at long-on. This possibly turned the match on its head, but Perera and Senanayake, during their 82-run ninth wicket stand, gave a few more chances. Perera was dropped at long-on again by Nasir, and at long-off by Shakib. Senanayake was dropped at slip by Mahmudullah, and gave a half-chance near mid-on, Shakib’s dive from midwicket falling short.
Perera ended up on an unbeaten 80 off 57 balls, hitting four boundaries and six sixes. He peppered the midwicket and long-on boundary with regularity, and had help from Sachithra Senanayake who made 30 off 48 balls, the same pair that was on hand to guide Sri Lanka to victory in the Twenty20 three days ago.
It was a stunning effort from Perera after Sri Lanka’s batting floundered so badly that they seemed out of the game. Tillakaratne Dilshan skied Rubel Hossain to Mushfiqur and Kusal Perera was given out leg-before, though the ball appeared to slip down the leg-side. Sangakkara rushed out to slam Al-Amin Hossain over mid-off but ended up giving an easy overhead catch to Arafat Sunny at mid-off.
Ashan Priyanjan was next to go, leg-before to Shakib before Dinesh Chandimal had his third failure in a row, getting run out after a mix-up with captain Angelo Mathews. Chandimal had tried to get the ball past cover but Shakib dived to his left, turned and passed the ball to Sunny, who took the bails off, with Chandimal well short.
Sunny then took his first ODI wicket, cleaning up Angelo Mathews, following it up with a similar dismissal of Nuwan Kulasekara. The last wicket of the collapse was Kithuruwan Vithanage, who was run out by inches with captain Mushfiqur Rahim, not keeping wickets in this game due to a finger injury, throwing down the stumps from mid-on.
Bangladesh bowled well in patches, but Mushfiqur’s captaincy, especially his use of Shakib and Mahmudullah was questionable. So was their batting, particularly when they were placed in such a comfortable situation. Perhaps it was comfort which got the better of them, and they remain winless in 2014, five matches in.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here
II – Island Account praises Perera’s Effort as Key
Thisara Perera’s brilliant counter-attack inspired Sri Lanka to a 13-run victory over Bangladesh in the first one-day international in Dhaka on Monday, giving the tourists the lead in the three-match series. Perera smashed an unbeaten 80 off 57 balls to lift the tourists from a hopeless 67-8 in the 22nd over to 180 all out after Bangladesh won the toss and elected to field. Sensing an opening, Sri Lanka hit back to bowl out the hosts for 167 in the 40th over of the rain-curtailed match at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium.
Bangladesh, riding on opener Shamsur Rahman’s 62 off 49 balls and 44 from Mominul Haque, were cruising at 114-2 in the 20th over when the batting came apart.
Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews claimed three wickets and off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake took two as Bangladesh lost their last eight wickets for 53 runs.
Perera proved to be Sri Lanka’s hero after the tourists were left in tatters in a match reduced to 43-overs-a side from the stipulated 50 due to bad weather.
Perera and Senanayake ensured Sri Lanka did not fall below 147, their lowest one-day total against Bangladesh, by adding 82 runs for the ninth wicket. Perera, who helped Sri Lanka record last-ball wins over Bangladesh in two Twenty20 matches last week, hit six sixes and four boundaries in a superb rearguard action.
Senanayake made 30 as Sri Lanka put on 113 valuable runs for the last two wickets after the spectacular collapse by the top order.
Bangladesh lost Anamul Haque off the second ball of the innings, caught in the slips off Lasith Malinga, but Shamsur and Mominul put on 79 for the second wicket.
Perera, who was named man of the match, broke the threatening stand by having Mominul caught at point for a fluent 44 that contained seven boundaries.
Bangladesh moved to 114-2 in the 20th over when their two main batsmen, Shamsur and Shakib Al Hasan, were run out in the space of five runs. Shamsur was given out by the third umpire after television replays showed the batsman’s feet in the air after his bat got stuck just outside the crease as he went to complete a second run.
Senanayake swung the match Sri Lanka’s way by removing Nasir Hossain and Mohammad Mahmudullah in three deliveries to make it 133-6 in the 29th over. Mathews grabbed three of the last four wickets to seal the victory which came when Robel Hossain became the third Bangladesh batsman to be run out.