COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Kusal Perera smashed a brilliant 77 runs off 53 deliveries to propel Sri Lanka to a six-wicket win over Bangladesh in the first of their two Twenty20 Internationals on Tuesday.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza, who as it turned out, was playing his penultimate game in the format, won the toss and elected to bat first, with his team going on to make 155 for six wickets in 20 overs.
Perera helped Sri Lanka get a good start to its chase, sharing 65 runs at a run rate of 10 per over with captain Upul Tharanga as Lanka reached its target with seven deliveries to spare.
Mortaza was by far the visitors’ best bowler, claiming 2 for 32 from his four overs, and only one other bowler —Taskin Ahmed — was among the wickets.
Kusal Perera, back in the international squad after being dropped from Test and limited overs side, showed his class with a brutal assault that proved too hot for Bangladesh bowlers to handle.
Tharanga, who had given the innings its initial impetus, departed in the seventh over, but Kusal Perera stayed long enough to almost see the chase through.
Kusal Perera, who smashed nine fours and a six, was out in the penultimate over hoisting a catch to Soumya Sarkar at mid-off off Taskin Ahmed but Seekkuge Prasanna (22 not out) and Thisara Perera ( four not) ended the game in the same over.
“I tried to finish the game. (I) had a couple of injuries but recovered well,” said Kusal Perera. “Every player has a couple of bad patches, (you) have to get over it, do the hard work and get out of bad patches.”
Earlier, Mosaddek Hossain top-scored with 34 not out in Bangladesh’s innings. Mosaddek helped revive the innings with a 57-run sixth-wicket stand with Mahmudullah after some disciplined bowling by Sri Lanka left the visitors reeling at 82-5 at one stage.
Mahmudullah made 31 off 26 balls runs while Soumya Sarkar chipped in with 29 in Bangladesh’s stop-start innings at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Mortaza opted to bat first but the side was rocked by Lasith Malinga’s second ball strike. Making a comeback in international cricket after weeks of injury lay-off, Malinga bowled opener Tamim Iqbal for a duck, though Sri Lanka could not capitalize on the start.
Soumya and Sabbir Rahman put on 57 runs for the second wicket to power Bangladesh back on track before a run-out of Sabbir for 16 triggered a Bangladesh collapse and choked the visitors in the middle overs.
Soumya left in the same over before quick dismissals of Mushfiqur Rahim (11) and Shakib Al Hasan (11) threatened to have derailed Bangladesh completely. Malinga finished with 2-38.
Bangladesh handed a debut to pace bowling all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin while, Sri Lanka picked Malinga and Vikum Sanjaya, who had played no part in the preceding Test and One-Day International series.
‘Two-Meter Peter’ retires after 16-year career
Former New Zealand batsman Peter Fulton retired on Tuesday after a 16-year first-class career that was highlighted by two stints in the international arena.
The towering 38-year-old, nicknamed ‘Two-Meter Peter’, made his first class debut in the 2000/01 domestic season and played 121 times for Canterbury, 66 of which were as captain.
Fulton made his international debut in a One-Dayer in 2004 against Bangladesh and had a roller-coaster ride for New Zealand, making the Test side in 2006 as a middle-order batsmen and accumulating just 10 appearances in nearly four years before dropping out of contention.
He was recalled in early 2013 as an opening batsman against England and became the fourth New Zealander to score a century in both innings of a Test when he scored 136 and 110 against the tourists at Eden Park in Auckland.
“When I was growing up I had dreams of playing for Canterbury and New Zealand, but when I was younger I didn’t think I was going to do it,” Fulton said in announcing his decision.
“From making my debut, I never would have thought I would play this many times and achieve these records for Canterbury. “At that stage, I was just stoked to play one.” — Agencies
Tamim Iqbal b Malinga 0
Soumya Sarkar c Perera b Sanjaya 29
Sabbir Rahman run out 16
Mushfiqur Rahim b Gunaratne 8
Shakib Al Hasan c Gunaratne b Prasanna 11
Mosaddek Hossain not out 34
Mahmudullah b Malinga 31
Mashrafe Mortaza not out 9
Extras (lb6, w10, nb1) 17
Total (six wickets; 20 overs) 155
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (Tamim), 2-57 (Sabbir ), 3-57 (Soumya), 4-70 ( Mushfiqur), 5-82 (Shakib ), 6-139 (Mahmudullah)
Did not bat: Mohammad Saifuddin, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed
Bowling: Malinga 4-0-38-2 (nb1, w2), Kulasekara 4-0-44-0 (w2), Sanjaya 4-1-24-1 (w2), Gunaratne 4-0-24-1, Prasanna 4-0-19-1
K. Perera c Soumya b Taskin 77
U. Tharanga c Mustafizur b Mashrafe 24
D. Munaweera c&b Mashrafe 8
A. Gunaratne run out 17
S. Prasanna not out 22
T. Perera not out 4
Extras (lb 4, w2) 6
Total (four wickets, 18.5 overs) 158
Fall of wickets: 1-65 (Tharanga), 2-79 (Munaweera), 3-120 (Gunaratne), 4-147 (Perera)
Did not bat: C. Kapugedera, M. Siriwardana, N. Kulasekara, L. Malinga, V. Sanjaya
Bowling: Mahmudullah 2-0-6-0, Taskin 2.5-0-33-1 (w2), Mashrafe 4-0-32-2, Mustafizur 3-0-24-0, Shakib 3-0-29-0, Saifuddin 3-0-23-0, Mosaddek 1-0-7-0.