A disastrous batting performance by the Bangladeshi batters saw them lose their opening Group B encounter of the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 against Sri Lanka by five wickets at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy on Thursday.
Najmul Hossain Shanto produced a one-man army show during the Bangladesh innings by scoring 89 off 122 balls but the rest of the batters failed to give him any noteworthy support as they were bowled out for 164 runs in 42.4 overs.
Pacer duo Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam removed both the openers Dimuth Karunaratne (one) and Pathum Nissanka (14) cheaply before skipper Shakib Al Hasan bowled Kusal Mendis (five).
Sadeera Samarawickrama (54) and Charith Asalanka (62 not out) then stood up in the run chase for the hosts as the pair put up a 78-run stand to guide them close to the victory before Mahedi Hasan removed the former.
Shakib then got his second wicket of the game when he bowled Dhananjaya de Silva (two) to reduce Sri Lanka to 128-5 but Dasun Shanaka (14 not out) completed the remaining task with ease with Asalanka after they guided the hosts to 165-5 in 39 overs.
Bangladesh, who will travel to Pakistan today, now need a victory against Afghanistan at any cost to stay alive in the tournament. The match against Afghanistan will be held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Sunday.
On Thursday, Bangladesh, who decided to bat first after winning the toss, lost debutant opener Tanzid Hasan Tamim in the second over after the southpaw was trapped in front by off-spinner Maheesh Theekshana without opening his account.
Shakib, who returned to the ODI helm recently, became Sri Lanka’s new pace sensation Matheesha Pathirana’s first victim of the day who later on finished with a career-best bowling figure of 4-32 in the innings.
Despite getting reduced to 36-3 in the 11th over, Bangladesh made a decent comeback in the game after Shanto and Tawhid Hridoy (20) added 59 runs for the fourth wicket before Sri Lankan skipper Shanaka removed Hridoy to break the stand.
Mushfiqur Rahim, who received a lucky reprieve on 12 after the on-field umpire failed to hear an edge to the wicketkeeper, failed to utilize the opportunity as he was dismissed on 13 while Mehidy Hasan Miraz (five) was run out bizarrely a few overs later.
Although Shanto remained firm at one end, Bangladesh continued to lose wickets at regular intervals and they lost their last four wickets for just two runs to get bowled out with more than seven overs to spare. The small total on the board played the decisive role in Bangladesh’s defeat at the end.