Sri Lanka 238-2 (Dilshan 113no) beat
Bangladesh 259-8 (Tamim 112) by 8 wickets (D/L)
First One-Day International, Hambantota
Sri Lanka waltzed to victory in the opening One-Day International against Bangladesh in Hambantota. An unbeaten century from Tillakaratne Dilshan, coupled with contributions from Kushal Perera and Kumar Sangakkara, helped them chase down their revised target of 238 with 32 balls to spare and eight wickets in hand.
Tamim Iqbal had given the tourists hope with his first international hundred in almost three years and the first by a Bangladeshi against Sri Lanka in ODIs. However, his day largely matched that of Bangladesh as a whole - one of hope followed by disappointment - as he suffered a fractured thumb while fielding in the second half and was ruled out of the remaining two ODIs and lone Twenty20 International.
The between-innings floodlight failure that had been responsible for shortening Sri Lanka’s chase to 238 from 41 overs seemingly took the spark out of Bangladesh. Following the delay that lasted well over an hour, Sri Lanka’s openers, Kushal Perera and Tillakaratne Dilshan teed off. They made the most of some atrocious bowling from Abul Hasan, Rubel Hossain and Abdur Razzak to take 83 runs off the mandatory eight-over powerplay.
Perera finally departed, but not before he had taken his stand with Dilshan to 106 in 12 overs, to Sohag Gazi. However, by this stage, Bangladesh looked truly deflated and there was no way back. The very last person they would have wanted to see walking to the crease in the circumstances was Kumar Sangakkara, fresh off the back of a Test series against them where he had scored 441 runs at an average of 110.25.
He and Dilshan took Sri Lanka to the brink of victory during a second-wicket stand of 128 which might have lacked the ferocity of the earlier one but certainly didn’t lack any of the effectiveness. By the time Sangakkara gave Rubel a consolation wicket by upper-cutting to Ziaur Rahman at third-man Sri Lanka needed just four. Dilshan, who had reached his 15th ODI century off 93 balls a little earlier, ended on 113 not out with Dinesh Chandimal on three.
Tamim Iqbal’s earlier historic century had largely masked the failings of his top-order colleagues. Anamul Haque, Mohammad Ashraful and Mushfiqur Rahim contributed just 16 runs between them as the Sri Lankan seamers bowled well. Thisara Perera bowled Anamul , Nuwan Kulasekara ended Ashraful’s one-day comeback before he had got off the mark, while Rahim’s dismissal to Angelo Mathews made it 63 for three.
Mahmudullah then joined Tamim and the pair added a cautious 66 in 16 overs to get the Tigers back on track. Tamim then went on to complete a welcome century during his subsequent partnership with Nasir Hossain, before finally departing for 112 in the 44th over. Bangladesh could have failed to accelerate following Tamim’s wicket, but the ever-improving Nasir ensured that the opposite was true. He helped them take 90 off the final 10 overs, which were split by a shorter floodlight-failure-induced delay.
Bangladesh’s total of 259 for eight was certainly competitive, but Dilshan, Perera and Sangakkara made mincemeat of it, meaning that it is the home side who head into the second ODI on Monday with the one-nil lead.
© Cricket World 2013
Open an account with bet365 today and qualify for up to £200 in free bets with our fantastic 100% Deposit Bonus.