Sri Lanka avoided being swept by Bangladesh in their one-day international series when it won the third match by 97 runs with a Kusal Perera century and Dushmantha Chameera‘s maiden five-for on Friday.
Perera struck a 122-ball 120, including 11 fours and one six, to lead Sri Lanka to a respectable 286-6. The fast bowler Chameera then took 5-16 to undermine the reply by Bangladesh, which was all out for 189 in 42.3 overs.
The victory marked Sri Lanka’s first in the ODI Super League. “Badly needed win, but we lost the series,” captain Perera said.
“My innings, I took calculated risks in the first 10 overs. Fifty, sixty (runs) is not enough for the team, so once I got set I changed gears to try and bat long. Our bowling department did a really good job.”
Perera and Danushka Gunathilaka opened with an 82-run stand after they won the toss.
Bangladesh fast bowler Taskin Ahmed, who claimed 4-46, brought the home side back in contention with a double strike, dismissing Gunathilaka for 39 and Pathum Nissanka for 0.
Perera drove Taskin to sweeper cover for a single in a bulletproof 50 off 44 balls, but the skipper needed luck three times to reach his sixth ODI century.
He was dropped on 66 by Mustafizur Rahman at short third man, dropped on 79 by Afif Hossain at long on off left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan, and dropped on 99 by Mahmudullah at mid on off fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman.
Perera finally reached the century off 99 balls with a single off Mustafizur. Taskin, meanwhile, claimed Kusal Mendis for 22, with a slower delivery, to end a 59-run partnership between him and Perera.
Pacer Shoriful Islam, who was wayward in his first spell, came back strongly in his second spell to dismiss Perera with a back-of-length delivery.
The Bangladesh bowlers regrouped to stall Sri Lanka in the last overs, utilizing the slower delivery well, though Dhananjaya de Silva escaped them with 55 not out off 70 balls. The Bangladesh batsman, however, struggled from the start.
Chameera grabbed opener Naim Sheikh (1), playing instead of Liton Das, and Shakib Al Hasan (4). Skipper Tamim Iqbal nicked Chameera’s slower delivery behind to reduce the home side to 28-3 in 10th over.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who scored 84 and 125 in the previous ODIs, played rash shot to be out for 28, giving offspinner Ramesh Mendis his debut ODI wicket.
A 56-run stand between Mushfiqur and Mosaddek Hossain offered Bangladesh some hope, but when Mosaddek was out for 51 off 72 balls while trying to reverse-sweep Mendis, Bangladesh was all but out of the game at 125-5 in the 32nd over.
Mahmudullah batted on for 53 off 63 until he was last out. “We won the series but we haven’t played to our full potential,” Tamim said. “There are still some areas to work on. I hope we will learn from the mistakes.”