Off-spinner Mehidy Hasan claimed 4-30 as Bangladesh cruised to a 33-run victory against Sri Lanka to make a winning start to their three-match ODI series on Sunday.
Mehidy’s bowling was key in dismissing Sri Lanka for 224 in 48.1 overs after Bangladesh chose to bat first and compiled 257-6.
Three senior batsmen helped to propel Bangladesh past 250 on a slow pitch. Mushfiqur Rahim hit 84, Mahmudullah got 54 and captain Tamim Iqbal scored 52.
Bangladesh went into the game having lost nine of 10 matches across three formats with one draw.
The hosts lost opener Liton Das, who edged fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera to second slip in the second over of the game.
Shakib Al Hasan struggled on his comeback match after missing the side’s last two international series. He was outfoxed by offspinner Danushka Gunathilaka for 15.
With Mushfiqur joining Tamim, Bangladesh’s innings gained pace but Sri Lanka hit back with a double strike, thanks to offspinner Dhananjaya de Silva.
Silva’s yorker got the better of Tamim, who reviewed the decision in vain. The spinner also had Mohammad Mithun leg before wicket after the batsman tried to play a paddle sweep. Mithun also failed to overturn the decision.
Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah played with caution and aggression to dominate the Sri Lanka bowlers.
Mushfiqur brought up his 40th half-century, hitting de Silva for an extra-cover boundary.
He looked set to bring up his century but was out to a reverse-sweep shot off left-arm spinner Lakshan Sandakan. The wicketkeeper-batsman hit four fours and one six in his knock.
Bangladesh then relied on Mahmudullah for some death-over carnage but he was deceived by de Silva’s flight. Instead, Afif Hossain and Mohammad Saifuddin played some big shots toward the end.
De Silva took 3-45 while Chameera, Gunathilaka and Sandakan picked up one wicket apiece.
Mehidy opened the bowling and gave Bangladesh the early edge, removing Gunathilaka with a return catch for 21 and later took the prized wicket of captain Kusal Perera for 30.
He dismissed de Silva for his 50th wicket before the left-arm spin of Shakib and fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman ripped through the middle order.
Wanindu Hasaranga resisted with the visitors at 149-7, supported by Isuru Udana.
Hasaranga’s big hitting kept the required run rate under control. As he reached his second fifty, pulling fast bowler Taskin Ahmed for six over mid-wicket, Sri Lanka appeared to be in control.
But a tired shot off Mustafizur ended his brilliant knock as pacer Saifuddin (2-49) and Mustafizur (3-34) cleaned up the tail. Hasaranga struck five sixes and three fours in his 60 ball-74.
The series is important for both teams with qualification to the 2023 World Cup in mind.
The second ODI is on Tuesday.