Asia Cup | Twitter reacts as disciplined Sri Lanka hold nerves in 5-wicket win over Bangladesh
Matheesha Pathirana proved to be the star turn with the ball for Sri Lanka in a convincing victory|
Sri Lanka were made to work hard by Bangladesh at Pallekele on Thursday but their all-round quality eventually shone through in a low-scoring game. Pathirana's four-wicket haul helped bowl out the visitors for 164 before fifties by Samarawickrama and Asalanka saw the team through in 39 overs.
Bangladesh's decision to bat first in overcast conditions immediately backfired as Maheesh Theekshana sent debutant Tanzid Hasan packing in just the second over of the game. Dhananjaya de Silva added to the visitor's misery by scalping the other opener Mohammad Naim to leave the Tigers reeling at 34/2 by the end of the powerplay. This set the stage for left-arm quick Matheesha Pathirana to wreak havoc with his unorthodox action as he earned the big wicket of skipper Shakib Al Hasan in his first over to kick off a tight spell. Towhid Hridoy and Najmul Shanto tried to steady a ship with a 59-run partnership before the latter was trapped LBW by Dasun Shanaka which saw Bangladesh struggling to stay afloat 95/4. Thereon, Shanto kept plugging away even as wickets tumbled at the other end, reaching his half-century off 66 balls. No other batter failed to pass the 20-run mark as the 25-year-old fell 11 runs short of a century in a 122-ball stay at the crease. Nevertheless, his effort got Bangladesh to a defendable 164 despite Pathirana ending with excellent figures of 7.4-0-32-4.
In response, the Tigers proved there was still all to play for with an exhibition of swing bowling with the new Kookaburra. The Lions found themselves at 44/3 after 10 overs were played and looked to be in a spot of bother but their sinking ship was saved by a brilliant partnership between Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka. The duo kept rotating the scorecard and found the occasional boundary at opportune moments to release the immense pressure being put on by a disciplined bowling effort. By the time the former departed for a 77-ball 54 to bring an end to the 78-run partnership, the hosts just required 45 runs for victory. Bangladesh put up a brief fightback with another quick wicket but it proved to be too little too late as Asalanka took the side across the line with his unbeaten 62 from 91 deliveries.
Great win to start the journey!
How happy for you? :D
Will Sri Lanka choke ???— GAFOOR GHISELA (@ParitoshK_2016) August 31, 2023
Instead of playing a lot of dot balls, Sri Lanka should attack which will put Bangladesh on the back foot.#SLvBAN | #AsiaCup2023 | #AsiaCup | #SLvsBAN | #AsiaCup23 | #SriLanka | #CricketTwitter
Does he know Hindi?
Mahedi bc🤬🤬🤬 chal bagh#SLvsBAN— SJM🇧🇩 𝕏 (@SJM_007) August 31, 2023
How rude are you bruh!! Spread love not hate!
Shakib is worst captain ever for bangladesh #SLvsBAN— AKHIL_99 (@AK99cricket) August 31, 2023
Quite a bad and low total!😢
Fans were waiting!
Good day at office to Sri Lanka!
Good start from Lanka here!
Party abhi toh shuru hua hi!