Kusal Perera struck a scintillating 99-ball 111 as Sri Lanka piled up a respectable 314-8 against Bangladesh in the three-match ODI series opener at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Friday.
In their bid to give Lasith Malinga a fitting farewell, Perera guided the side in astute fashion and got apt support from Angelo Mathews (48) and Kusal Mendis (43).
Pace bowler Shafiul Islam marked his return to national fold after three years with 3-62 while Mustafizur Rahman scalped 2-75, and again all of Mustafizur wickets came in death overs after he leaked runs in abundance in middle overs.
In a packed stadium, who mainly came here to witness the last match of Malinga, Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne won the toss and opted to bat first, sensing the wicket will be slower as the time progresses.
But Shaiful Islam gave Bangladesh a superb start, dismissing Avishka Fernadno for 7, reports BSS.
If this early breakthrough sent Bangladesh into delirium, that was evaporated when Perera joined skipper Dimuth Karunaratne.
They combined for 97-run for the second wicket to lay a solid platform after which off-spinner Mehidy Hasan brought much-needed 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 half-fit, dropped him.
The duo treated Bangladeshi bowlers with utmost disdain to add exact 100-runs . During his period, Perera swept Mosaddek Hossain past mid-wicket 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 60-runs for the fifth wicket to keep the side afloat.
As it became the norms 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, Malinga 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.
In his last match, he made not out of 6.
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