Thisara Perera smashed a career best 80 of 57 balls © AFP (File Photo)
Thisara Perera smashed a career best 80 of 57 balls © AFP (File Photo)

 

Feb 17, 2014

 

Thisara Perera’s scintillating 80 of just 57 balls saved Sri Lanka for being shot for a record low score to finish at 180. The clever Bangladesh bowlers were spot on and used the bowling conditions to their advantage to bowl out the visitors for a moderate score

 

After heavy rains washed delayed the start of play by nearly three hours, Sri Lanka were put into bat by Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, in the hope that his bowlers could make use of the moisture caused by the damp surface.

 

The consequence and the results that unfolded, would have been the stuff of dreams — be it for Mushfiqur or the Bangladesh fans who patiently waited for play to start during the rain delay.

 

Kusal Perera, blazed away in a manner that has now become his signature move; tearing into the attack and trying to seize the initiative for his team in the first power play.

 

With the score on 22, it was Rubel Hossian who opened the floodgates for Bangladesh, removing openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Perera in quick succession.

 

With the rebuilding job falling on the reliable shoulders of Dinesh Chandimal and Kumar Sangakkara, the prolific Sangakkara threw his wicket away to Al-Amin Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan trapped Ashan Priyanjan in front to leave Sri Lanka in trouble at 52 for four.

 

Shakib then showcased his brilliance on the field to run out Chandimal — diving to his left and having throwing the ball at the non-strikers end in a split second.

 

captain Angelo Mathews fell to a rather amateurish shot, bowled between bat and pad, adding just three to the score. It was the other debutant Arafat Sunny who got on to the act.

 

Sunny rattled Nuwan Kulasekera’s stumps and in quick succession Sri Lankan rookie Kithuruwan Vithanage was run out, trying to sneak through a single and at this stage the visitors were in danger of being shot out for an embarrassingly low total. The scoreboard read 68 for eight.

 

Thisara Perera and Sachitra Senanayake, though saved the island nation from the blushes with some uninhibited, brave cricket.

 

Perera was brutal; the burly all-rounder took apart Sunny for three consecutive sixes and a boundary in an over and Senanayake wasn’t lagging behind either, going for the slog whenever an opportunity presented itself and gave support to the big hitting Perera.

 

Shakib, yet again was Bangladesh’s go-to man for a wicket and the left-arm spinner removed Senanayake for 30 to break the 82-run tenth wicket stand.

 

Last man Lasith Malinga was the last man to go after Sohag Gazi ended his laboured stay at the crease while Perera was still going strong. The southpaw was unfortunate to not reach his maiden hundred.

 

Brief scores:

 

Sri Lanka 180 in 40 overs (Kusal Perera 20, Thisara Perera 80*,Sachitra Senanayake 30; Shakib Al Hasan 2 for 29; Arafat Sunny 2 for 31) vs Bangladesh