Rain sinks Sri Lanka hopes against Bangladesh

The second ODI between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka has been abandoned due to persistent rain at Dambulla.

The match was sizing up for a good contest after Kusal Mendis’ gritty century powered the hosts to 311 with Taskin Ahmed capping it off with a hat-trick for Bangladesh at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Tuesday.

Taskin (4-47) became the fifth Bangladeshi bowler to pick up an ODI hat-trick.

The 22-year-old Mendis went in at three, notched his maiden century in the format and stitched up an 111-run stand with skipper Upul Tharanga in the second wicket to raise a solid base for the hosts.

Trailing the series 1-0, Sri Lanka brandished an aggressive approach from the outset but suffered an early blow.

Opener Danushka Gunathilaka’s attempt to give a swift start ended on 9 when he failed to read Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s change-up, thanks to a brilliant effort from Mushfiqur Rahim.

Tharanga (65), playing his 200th ODI, then punished young offspinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz for straying too far outside offstump twice in an over with boundaries. It forced Mashrafe to replace him with Mustafizur Rahman in the 10th over.

The left-arm seamer could not adjust his length in his first two overs, giving away 17 runs from them. Although an edge zipped through safely, he was taken off the attack.

While Mashrafe kept rotating his bowlers in search of a wicket, Tharanga, then joined by Mendis in the middle, kept calm to recover and paced the innings brilliantly.

They gradually grew in confidence and pulled away past 100 in the 20th over as Tharanga reached his 31st half-century with a gentle push on the offside.

The elegant left-handed batsman then switched gear and cracked three boundaries to bring up his century partnership with Mendis who began slowly.

Mustafizur, who returned to the attack from the other end, continued to struggle with line and length. He hurled a wide beamer at Tharanga, who was too keen to keep motoring and opted for a run.

Mushfiqur did well to get a hand out to stop it and a direct throw from Mahmudullah caught Tharanga short to give Bangladesh a lucky break.

Mendis, however, blasted the next ball for the first six and creamed another through extra cover for a boundary to shrug off the loss. Mustafizur ended up giving 20 runs in an eventful 25th over.

With Dinesh Chandimal giving good support at the other end, He kept milking boundaries to breeze away to his century off 102 balls after surviving a Bangladesh review for an lbw appeal. Mendis cracked nine boundaries and a six.

Bangladesh then fought back by sending both the batsmen back in successive overs to reduce 216 for 4 in 37.4 overs.

Chandimal walked across the stumps to Mustafizur who trapped him in front. Sri Lanka reviewed the umpire’s call, but on-field decision stood after replay.

Taskin accounted for Mendis’ departure after the centurion struck a full delivery straight back at the bowler’s shoulder. The impact caused the ball to soar and allowed Taskin to get underneath it pouch it safely as he clinched his left shoulder in pain.

Asela Gunaratne (39) and Milinda Siriwardana (30), however, took little time to pick the pace. They steadied the ship and cropped up 55 runs off 48 balls for the fifth wicket to raise hopes of a 320-run total.

Nerves started to show for Bangladesh as Mushfiqur fluffed a stumping opportunity and Miraz dropped a skier in back-to-back overs.

The teenaged spinner made amends by rattling the stumps Siriwardana. The dangerous Thisara Perera and Dilruwan Perera soon followed him back after being run out on 9 each. Sri Lanka were 300 for 7, and it was time for Taskin’s last over.

Taskin took out Gunaratne first off the third ball before Suranga Lakmal holed out to midwicket. Nuwan Pradeep’s being bowled off an inswinging yorker capped off a fine death-overs effort by Bangladesh in measure to the match. slid to 280 for 6. (Courtesy BD News24)