Mumbai: Sri Lanka made an auspicious start to life after the 2019 World Cup, clinching the ODI series against Bangladesh with one game to spare. They won the second ODI by seven wickets after their bowlers put together a great team effort.
Their batsmen saw off tricky periods in their chase, but mostly dominated the visitors who posted 238 for 8 after deciding to bat first. It is Sri Lanka's first series win at home in three-and-a-half years, and it came via a combination of young and experienced players, reports ESPNcricinfo.
Avishka Fernando's stunning 82 came off 75 balls, including nine fours and two sixes, and he gave Sri Lanka the perfect start in their chase. He added 71 for the first wicket with Dimuth Karunaratne and 58 for the second with Kusal Perera, before Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis steered Sri Lanka home with an unbroken fourth-wicket stand of 96.
Avishka jumped to life in the sixth over when he cracked Shafiul Islam for three fours in a row, punching him off the backfoot twice before pulling one high through square-leg. He struck Mustafizur Rahman for two more fours in the eighth over, before pulling him in his next over for his first six.
Karunaratne's dismissal in the 12th over hardly slowed down Avishka, who slog-swept his second six and struck two more fours. He was dropped on 77, albeit with Mosaddek Hossain making the best of a tough catch running in from deep cover. Avishka, however, fell in the next over, miscuing a Mustafizur cutter, having put Sri Lanka in a strong position.
There was a slight wobble in the 25th over when Kusal Perera, having made 30, was caught at cover off Mustafizur, but Mendis and Mathews ensured a smooth ending to the chase.
They played out four overs without forcing the issue, but the introduction of a part-timer, Sabbir Rahman, released the pressure, with a boundary coming off his second ball and shifting the momentum towards Sri Lanka.
Mathews and Mendis soon picked up fours off Shafiul, Soumya and Mustafizur, and steadily took Sri Lanka to the target in 44.4 overs. Mathews finished unbeaten on 52 off 57 balls with seven fours while Mendis was not out on 41 off 74 balls with four fours.
They may have had to chase far less had Mushfiqur Rahim not rescued Bangladesh from the depths of 116 for 7. Mushfiqur and Mehidy Hasan changed the course of the innings with an 84-run partnership for the seventh wicket, Mehidy playing the aggressor with six fours in his 43.
Scores: Sri Lanka 242 for 3 (Avishka 82, Mathews 52*, Kusal Mendis 41*, Mustafizur 2-50) beat Bangladesh 238 for 8 (Mushfiqur 98*, Mehidy 43, Dananjaya 2-39, Pradeep 2-53, Udana 2-58) by seven wickets