Sri Lanka outshines Tigers to give Malinga befitting farewell

DHAKA, Bangladesh failed to ruin Lasith Malinga's farewell party after Sri Lanka crushed them by 91 runs in the first ODI to start the threematch series in perfect fashion at R Premadasa Stadium on Friday.

Opting to bat first in what was Malinga's last ODI, thanks to Kusal Perera's 99 ball111, Sri Lanka compiled a massive 3148, a target that the curlyhaired pacer made tougher for the Tigers with an intriguing display of yorkers.

Bangladesh eventually were bowled out for 223 in 41.4 overs.

Malinga finished with 338 in 9.4 overs to fittingly end his illustrious ODI career.

He got the first two wickets in the first powerplay to break the backbone of Bangladesh batting.

His deadly yorker in just fifth ball of the first over got the better of Bangladesh standin captain Tamim Iqbal for 0 and then he unleashed another lethal yorker to dismiss Soumya Sarkar for 15.

In between Nuwan Pradeep removed Mohammad Mithun for 10 while Lahiru Kumara ended Mahmudullah's horror match by taking him out for 3.

Mahmudullah, one of the senior players in the side was due to take more responsibility in absence of Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza but he missed a catch of Kushal Mendis and then fumbled in batting to leave Tigers in awful 394.

Sabbir Rahman and Mushfiqur Rahim resisted with 111run partnership but it only delayed the inevitable.

Dhananjaya de Silva broke the partnership, when he got Sabbir who hit 60 off 56, striking seven fours.

Bangladesh's hope was virtually ended even though Mushfiqur Rahim played serenely before being out as eighth batsman for 67 off 86 with five fours.

Malinga fittingly took out Bangladesh last wicket to script his perfect farewell by his own.

Kusal Perera's struck his fifth century to guide Sri Lanka's innings in a pitch conducive to batting.

He got apt support from Angelo Mathews (48) and Kusal Mendis (43).

In a packed stadium, who mainly came here to witness the last match of Malinga, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne opted batting, sensing the wicket will be slower as the time progresses.

But Shaiful Islam who returned to the fold after three years gave Bangladesh a superb start, dismissing Avishka Fernadno for 7.

If this early breakthrough sent Bangladesh into delirium, that was evaporated when Perera joined skipper Karunaratne.

They combined for 97run for the second wicket to lay a solid platform after which offspinner Mehidy Hasan brought muchneeded breakthrough, removing the Lankan skipper for 36.

Kusal Mendis joined Perera and they were vastly benefited by some wayward bowling, shoddy fielding and catch missing.

Mendis survived once on 28 when Mahmudullah, looked literally halffit, dropped him.

The duo treated Bangladeshi bowlers with utmost disdain to add exact 100run. During his period, Perera swept Mosaddek Hossain past midwicket for a boundary to bring up his century off just 82 balls.

Soumya Sarkar brought an end to the dangerous partnership, by getting rid of Perera who was finally out on 111 off 99, smashing 17 fours and six.

Mendis then followed his shortly as he cut Rubel, only to be caught by Mushfiqur Rahim. There was mild appeal to which umpire didn't respond.

With Bangladesh already wasting a review, there is no chance to review the decision further.

But Mendis, like a pure gentleman, left the crease, much to Bangladesh's relief.

That two settled batsmen got departed in the space of five runs brought the Tigers back into the contention.

However this time Angelo Mathews and Lahiru Thirimanne added further 60runs for the fifth wicket to keep the side afloat.

As it became the norm for him, Mustafizur leaked runs in abundance in the middle over to play key role in damaging the side but propped up his game in death overs.

He removed Thirimanne for 25 and Mathews but before that Sri Lanka placed them in safe position.

After Mathews' dismissal, Malings came out to bat for one last time in ODI cricket with Percy escorting him with a Sri Lanka flag. Fans had their mobile phones on flash light mode to capture the moment. Malinga was not out on 6.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)