Sloppy Tigers throw it awayAzad Majumder
Bangladesh paid the price for their sloppy fielding and poor nerve as they suffered yet another heart-breaking defeat against Sri Lanka, this time by 13 runs, in the first one-day international in Dhaka on Monday.
The Tigers were ahead for most of the match, reducing Sri Lanka to 67-8 with before a series of dropped catches allowed the visitors to stage a fight back and put 180 runs on board on a damp pitch at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
A win was still possibility as Mominul Haque and Shamsur Rahman batted with courage to put Bangladesh in a comfortable position, but the Tigers let the advantage go.
Sakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Sohag Gazi and Mahmudullah will always remember this match for the wrong reasons as they all dropped at least one catch and batted boyishly to gift Sri Lanka a come-from-behind win.
Set an easy target, Bangladesh lost a wicket off the second ball of their innings, but Mominul Haque and Shamsur Rahman survived the initial jitters to launch a counter-attack.
Mominul led the initial charge before falling for 44 to Perera, and Shamsur continued his brisk batting to complete his half-century off just 43 balls.
The right-hander, playing in only his third one-day international, chose Malinga and Perera to attack and looked certain to get a big innings before a freakish run out ended his innings at 62.
What followed next was hard to believe, as Sakib suffered a run out, and Nasir and an out-of-sorts Mahmudullah fell in one over to Sachithra Senanayake, suddenly making the equation very difficult.
Left without any recognized batsman, Mushfiqur Rahim was expected to shield the lower-order, which he failed to do despite having plenty of overs in hand.
The skipper was happy to allow Arafat Sunny and Rubel Hossain to take the strike and Sri Lanka did not take too much time to prove that strategy wrong.
Bangladesh effectively lost the contest when Mushfiq (27) was caught behind trying to play a scoop off Angelo Mathews off the first ball of the batting powerplay.
It could have been a completely different game if Bangladesh had held onto all the catches that came their way in the rain-reduced 43-over-a-side game.
Thisara Perera made the most of Bangladesh’s butter-fingered fielding, scoring an unbeaten 80 off 54 balls to give Sri Lanka something to fight with.
Sri Lanka was in danger of getting dismissed for fewer than 100 runs against Bangladesh for the first time after the hosts showed some athleticism in the initial stages after winning the toss and opting to bowl.
The Islanders not only avoided that fate but also went past 147 – their lowest ever score against Bangladesh – thanks to the fielders.
They were 73-8 when Sohag Gazi dropped Perera at long on off Arafat, and the all-rounder made Bangladesh pay immediately with two more sixes in the same over.
Debutant Sunny, who conceded just seven runs in his first five overs,
gave up 24 runs in that over, forcing Mushfiq to withdraw him from the bowling.
Sohag was on the receiving end when Nasir dropped Perera on 30 off his bowling to give him his second life.
Mahmudullah put down Sachithra Senanayake at slip on five to help him give some invaluable support to Perera as the duo doubled Sri Lanka’s score with an 82-run ninth-wicket stand.
Sakib bowled Senanayake for 30 to stop them from doing further damage, only to give Perera his third life on 78. Sohag claimed the final wicket of Malinga as Bangladesh finally dismissed Sri Lanka with three overs from their quota still unused.
Sri Lanka innings 180 in 40 overs (T Perera 80 not out, S Senanayake 30, K Perera 20; Sakib 2-29, Arafat 2-31, Rubel 2-37) v Bangladesh innings 167 in 39.2 overs (Shamsur 62, Mominul 47, Mushfiq 27; A Mathews 3-21, S Senanayake 2-33)
Result: Sri Lanka won by 13 runs, Man of the match: T Perera (SL)
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