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Asia Cup 2023: Group B, BAN vs SL: Pathirana 4-fer, Sadeera-Asalanka century stand help SL prevail

Asia Cup 2023: Group B, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka: Najmul Shanto’ 89, Matheesha Pathirana and Maheesh Theekshana’s combined 6-51 and Samarawickrama-Asalanka’s 78-run stand are top performances. Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by five wickets and moved to the top of the Group B table.

Asia Cup 2023_ Group B, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka_ Charith Asalanka's half century takes Sri Lanka home against Bangladesh _Walking wicket (Images_ ©ICC_Twitter)
Asalanka's half century takes Sri Lanka home against Bangladesh (Images: ©ICC/Twitter)

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 165/5 (Asalanka 62*, Samarawickrama 54, Shakib 2/29) beat Bangladesh 164 (Shanto 89, Pathirana 4/32, Theekshana 2/19) by five wickets.

Player Of The Match: Matheesha Parithana (4/32)

After witnessing a one-sided game at Multan at the Asia Cup opener between hosts Pakistan and Nepal, the focus now shifted to Pallekele, where the five-time Asia Cup champions took on the dangerous Bangladesh side.

These sides are no strangers to each other and have played a lot of cricket recently. However, both these sides are depleted coming into the tournament as some of their first choices were ruled out just before the tournament started.

Shakib Al Hasan, the Bangladesh skipper, won the toss and opted to bat first. Opener Tanzid Hasan made his international debut for Bangladesh, while Sri Lanka fielded an XI that largely played in the recent Qualifier but sans Wanindu Hasaranga.

Talking point from Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka Game

Bangladesh’s middle-order sans Liton Das and Tamim Iqbal looks highly depleted, and these are worrying signs for the team going forward in the Asia Cup. After a batting collapse at the top, the middle order couldn’t make much out as they got bowled out for 164.

Sri Lanka’s top order did get out cheaply this game, but their middle order really looks to be in great form. Samarawickrama has done well recently, as has Asalanka over the past few seasons. The seasoned Dhananjaya de Silva is a great addition to the team, followed by skipper Shanaka, who has led by example.

The start for Bangladesh was far from ideal as they were dented early with the dismissal of the debutant Tanzid for a duck. Mohammad Naim, too, fell cheaply to Dhananjaya de Silva, while Matheesha Pathirana accounted for skipper Shakib, who departed for 5. In the 11th over, Bangladesh was reeling at 36/3, leaving Najmul Shanto to rebuild the innings.

The left-hander scored well, a well-compiled knock of 89, but couldn’t find the required support from the end as Bangladesh were bowled out for 164, well within their quota of 50 overs. Matheesha Pathirana was the show's star as he picked 4 Bangladeshi wickets to fall.

Sri Lanka began their run-chase on a poor note, losing Dimuth Karunaratne to Taskin and then informing Nissanka that he fell to Shoriful for 13. The shaky-looking Kusal Mendis didn’t survive long as Sri Lanka seemed to find themselves in trouble at 43/3 in the 10th over.

When it looked like Bangladesh would be back in the contest, the partnership between Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka took the game in favor of Sri Lanka. Despite a small hiccup where Sri Lanka lost Samarawickrama and Dhananjaya de Silva In the end, Sri Lanka won the game, convincing at the end by five wickets.

Let’s analyze the top three performers of Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh game

Nazmul Santo's 89 from 122 balls was the only bright spot in Bangladesh’s batting

The left-hander has had a decent time this year when it comes to the ODI format, having scored 429 runs in 12 innings this particular knock of 89. Bangladesh didn’t have the best of starts, losing both the openers quite early in the piece. He also lost Shakib while being at the crease, but that didn’t deter him from playing a lone hand for the Bangladeshi team.

He brought up his 4th ODI half-century in the process, and despite losing wickets at the other end, the left-hander continued his impressive show at the crease. He was the 8th man to be dismissed as Maheesh Theekshana scalped him for a well-made 89.

Asia Cup 2023_ Group B, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka_ Matheesha Pathirana gets player of the match for his 4-32 vs Bangladesh _ Walking wicket (Images_ ©srilankatweet_Twitter)
Pathirana gets player of the match for his 4-32 vs Bangladesh (Images: ©srilankatweet/Twitter)
Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana's combined figures of 6/51 sent Bangladesh reeling.

Injuries to their first-choice bowlers jolted Sri Lanka’s pace attack, and then Hasaranga was also ruled out. The onus fell on Theekshana to handle the spin bowling department, while Matheesha Pathirana’s role was to pick wickets in the middle overs.

They just did that as Theekshana took the new ball struck in his first over, and then it was the show of Pathirana. The pacer first accounted for Shakib Al Hasan and got rid of the experienced Mushfiqur Rahim before cleaning up the tail. While the spinner ended with 2/19, Pathirana took a maiden 4-fer in the process.

Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka’s match-winning 78-run stand seals the game for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, like Bangladesh, didn’t have the best of starts to their innings as they lost both their openers relatively early in the innings, and this is where Samarawickrama joined a struggling Kusal Mendis in the middle. While Mendis departed soon, the young batter continued his dream comeback run for Sri Lanka and was ably accompanied by Charith Asalanka.

The duo steadied the ship for the Lankan team in a watchful partnership of 78 runs in almost 20 overs, giving them an upper hand after the early jolt. Samarawickrama reached his half-century before being dismissed for 54, but the left-hander Asalanka stayed till the end to affirm the team's first win, scoring an unbeaten 62.

Asia Cup 2023 Points Table
Asia Cup 2023 Points Table
Asia Cup 2023 Group B Standings

Points table scenario and what’s to come

With this win, Sri Lanka debuted at the top position in the Group B points table with a run-rate of +0.951, and they will next meet Afghanistan on September 5th at Lahore.

Bangladesh will have a lot to introspect about, especially with the batting, before they take on the same opponents at Lahore on the 3rd.

Top Twitter Reactions from Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh, Asia Cup 2023


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