Sri Lanka bowlers took the team to the final of the tri-nation one-day tournament, securing a 10-wicket win over Bangladesh on Thursday. Fast bowler Suranga Lakmal ran through the Bangladeshi innings, claiming 3-21 as the hosts, who also reached the final, with three straight wins, were dismissed for 82. Fellow pacers Dushmantha Chameera (2-6), Thisara Perera (2-27) and left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan (2-24) all played their part on a tricky pitch to help the side win with a bonus point.
Openers Upul Tharanga was not out on 39 while Danushka Gunathilaka was on 35 as Sri Lanka raced to the victory in only 11.5 overs. It was Sri Lanka’s third 10-wicket victory against Bangladesh. “Last year we did not do well in white-ball cricket. The last two wins are very helpful for us, especially our confidence will get higher now,” Gunathilaka said. “So we are looking forward to the final.”
It was the first time in 3½ years that Bangladesh was dismissed below 100, having been bowled out for 70 against West Indies in 2014. “We didn’t expect to lose the way we did today, especially after three big wins,” Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said. “It is tough to comment and go into the details of this performance. We have to play the way we did in the first three games. This is a good wake-up call for us before the final. I think we will have stronger nerves now.”
The hosts, aiming to maintain its winning streak, opted to bat first but Lakmal left them in a precarious situation, moving the ball admirably in both ways. He claimed the big wicket of inform Tamim Iqbal (5), who came to the match with three straight half-centuries, before he dismissed struggling Anamul Haque (0). In between another inform batsman, Shakib Al Hasan was run out on 8, leaving Bangladesh 16-3.
Mushfiqur Rahim held the one end but Sri Lanka’s bowlers continued making inroads with well-directed short balls. Rahim and Sabbir Rahman (10) were the two to reach double-digit figures, with the former making the highest at 26. On a pitch where Bangladeshi batsmen struggled, Sri Lanka’s openers were fluent and kept the Bangladeshi bowlers frustrated.
Gunathilaka, who replaced the injured Kusal Perera, hit three fours and two sixes in his run-a-ball 35, while Tharanga struck three sixes and one four in a 37-ball 39. The final between the two sides is on Saturday.