Sri Lanka have finally made themselves heard, 12 days into the World Cup. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara did most of the talking through their bats, hammering unbeaten centuries that set up a 92-run win over Bangladesh at the MCG.
Bangladesh were bowled out for 240 inside 47 overs after they once again shuffled the batting line-up, leaving Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim with too much to do. Both batsmen aren’t particularly renowned for stitching together big partnerships during a chase, so aiming to gun down 333 from the 21st over remained an ineffectual exercise.
Contrast that with Sri Lanka who usually have most of their in-form batsmen in the top order. Dilshan was one of them, making an unbeaten 161, his highest ODI score. Sangakkara celebrated his 400th ODI with his 22nd century having come into bat in the 25th over. Sri Lanka also became the only side to lose just one wicket in a 50-over innings as they ended with 332 for 1. The Dilshan-Sangakkara partnership added 210 runs in 25.3 overs for the unbroken second wicket, following the 122-run opening stand between Dilshan and Lahiru Thirimanne.
Bangladesh fielded poorly, highlighted by three dropped catches and a missed stumping. Sangakkara was dropped on 23 and 60: Taskin Ahmed fumbled a low return catch, and Mominul Haque dropped a sitter at point. In addition, Anamul Haque dropped a dolly at slip in the first over to give Thirimanne a life, before the batsman was reprieved through the missed stumping. Anamul also had a chance to run out Dilshan who was halfway down the pitch after a mix-up, but without a back-up, his throw at the striker’s end was hesitant and ultimately, futile.
Rubel Hossain took the only Sri Lanka wicket to fall when Thirimanne lazily guided his short ball to third man where Taskin took the catch. But from there, Dilshan and Sangakkara batted without much worry to ensure a score in excess of 300, adding 115 in the last 10 overs.
Dilshan brought out his entire repertoire to find boundaries, including the lap sweep off the pace bowler and the reverse-sweeps off the spinners. Sangakkara started his innings by giving the set Dilshan more of the strike, coming to life from the batting Powerplay. He struck the only six of the innings, straight over the bowler Rubel Hossain’s head soon after his second life.
Dilshan struggled with cramps towards the latter part of the innings but ensured he was around when Sangakkara reached his century in the last over. Sangakkara ended with 105 off 76 balls with 13 fours and one six, while Dilshan hammered 22 fours in his 146-ball knock.
Bangladesh’s chase got off to a poor start as Tamim Iqbal was bowled by Lasith Malinga second ball, beaten by pace. Soumya Sarkar, though, remained unfazed, immediately striking a full-toss for four. He would hit four more boundaries, including three off successive deliveries from Suranga Lakmal.
It was the sort of counterattack Bangladesh badly needed at the stage, but Sarkar lasted for only 15 balls, edging Angelo Mathews for 25. Curiously, Mominul Haque was sent to bat at No. 4 for the first time in his short ODI career, and was out three balls later, slashing a catch to Jayawardene at slip. More incongruity followed in the Bangladesh batting line-up when Mahmudullah was sent ahead of Shakib at No. 5. The last time this happened in 2013, Shakib wasn’t in the Bangladesh team due to an ankle injury.
Mahmudullah added 43 for the fourth wicket but ultimately paid the price for his constant miscommunication with Anamul. After working the ball on the on-side, Mahmudullah set off for a run but suddenly refused the single, selling Anamul down the river as Mathews struck with a direct hit.
Anamul had earlier survived dropped catches on 0 and 15 off Lakmal, but he ended up only making 29 off 43 balls. It ended a day when he dropped a sitter in the first over of the game, let one go through his legs in the covers to concede a boundary, missed an easy run-out, almost ran out his colleague, and finally ended up run-out.
Mahmudullah’s fall in the 21st over, through a half-hearted pull down to fine leg, finally brought together Shakib and Mushfiqur, and the sixth-wicket pair added 64 runs in 11.1 overs with Shakib making 46 off 59 balls. After Shakib struck his only six, which was almost nabbed by Lakmal at the boundary, he was caught at long-on when he chipped Rangana Herath one-handed in the 32nd over.
Mushfiqur became Lakmal’s second wicket when he fell for 36 off 39 balls, an innings of usual quality but ultimately no consequence. Sabbir struck his maiden half-century, perhaps Bangladesh’s only takeaway from the game. He struck seven fours in his 61-ball knock, which was ended when Malinga stung him with a snorter, Sangakkara tumbling to complete the catch.
Sri Lanka’s decision to play with one less bowler in the absence of Jeevan Mendis ultimately wasn’t tested enough as they had plenty of runs to bank on. Malinga took three wickets and Lakmal bowled with a lot of energy, but two dropped catches meant he didn’t end with better bowling figures. Sri Lanka, nonetheless, have plenty to take away from this resounding result.
HDRL Thirimanne c Taskin Ahmed b Rubel Hossain 52
TM Dilshan not out 161
KC Sangakkara not out 105
Extras (b 3, lb 2, w 9) 14
Total (1 wicket; 50 overs; 221 mins) 332
Did not batFDM Karunaratne, DPMD Jayawardene, AD Mathews*, LD Chandimal, NLTC Perera, HMRKB Herath, SL Malinga, RAS Lakmal
Fall of wickets 1-122 (Thirimanne, 24.3 ov)
Mashrafe Mortaza 10-0-53-0, Rubel Hossain 9-0-62-1, Taskin Ahmed 10-1-82-0, Shakib Al Hasan 10-0-55-0, Mahmudullah 7-0-49-0, Sabbir Rahman 4-0-26-0
Tamim Iqbal b Malinga 0
Anamul Haque run out (Mathews) 29
Soumya Sarkar c †Sangakkara b Mathews 25
Mominul Haque c Jayawardene b Lakmal 1
Mahmudullah c Herath b Perera 28
Shakib Al Hasan c Malinga b Dilshan 46
Mushfiqur Rahim b Lakmal 36
Sabbir Rahman c †Sangakkara b Malinga 53
Mashrafe Mortaza st †Sangakkara b Dilshan 7
Rubel Hossain not out 0
Taskin Ahmed lbw b Malinga 0
Extras (lb 9, w 6) 15
Total (all out; 47 overs; 193 mins) 240
Fall of wickets 1-0 (Tamim Iqbal, 0.2 ov), 2-40 (Soumya Sarkar, 5.5 ov), 3-41 (Mominul Haque, 6.2 ov), 4-84 (Anamul Haque, 15.1 ov), 5-100 (Mahmudullah, 20.4 ov), 6-164 (Shakib Al Hasan, 31.5 ov), 7-208 (Mushfiqur Rahim, 40.2 ov), 8-228 (Mashrafe Mortaza, 43.5 ov), 9-240 (Sabbir Rahman, 46.5 ov), 10-240 (Taskin Ahmed, 46.6 ov)
SL Malinga 9-0-35-3, RAS Lakmal 8-0-49-2, AD Mathews 5.4-0-36-1, HMRKB Herath 10-0-43-0, NLTC Perera 6.2-0-33-1, TM Dilshan 8-0-35-2
Toss – Sri Lanka, who chose to bat
Points – Sri Lanka 2, Bangladesh 0
Player of the match – TM Dilshan (Sri Lanka)
Umpires – Aleem Dar (Pakistan) and PR Reiffel
TV umpire – RA Kettleborough (England)
Match referee – JJ Crowe (New Zealand)
Reserve umpire – JS Wilson (West Indies)