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Bangladesh start Asia Cup campaign with a 5-wicket defeat

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Bangladesh have started their Asia Cup campaign with a 5-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka as fifties by Charith Asalanka and Sadeera Samarawickrama helped the hosts in a modest chase.

Asalanka (62*) smashed a superb four in the last ball of the 39th over, taking his side past Bangladesh’s meagre 164 at Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Thursday after a below-par show by the Tigers with the bat, reports

Dashun Shanaka (14) ensured Sri Lanka remain on the course after captain Shakib Al Hasan bowled Dhananjaya de Silva for 2.

Samarawickrama (54) fell to Mahedi Hasan’s offbreak in the previous over. Keeper Mushfiqur Rahim’s fumbling with the ball did not make any difference as Samarawickrama came down the track.

Najmul Hossain Shanto put up a lone battle to push Bangladesh to the measly score after Bangladesh chose to bat. He struck 89 but saw wickets tumbling around him.

After Tanzid Hasan squandered his opportunity to shine on debut with a duck, Mohammad Naim Sheikh (16) got a start but ended up miscuing at point.

As skipper Shakib Al Hasan (5) gloved one back to the wicketkeeper, Towhid Hridoy (20) got a start in a 59-run resistance with Shanto.

But after Sri Lanka got Hridoy lbw on review, Bangladesh began to struggle for a way out of the woods.

Even the experience of Mushfiqur (13) could not lead Bangladesh to anything respectable as he uppercut Matheesha Pathirana (4-32) straight to third man.

The wickets then fell like ninepins as Maheesh Theekshana (2-19) went through the gates of Shanto to put paid to any hopes of Bangladesh reaching 200.

Shanto was the only bright spot for the Tigers smashing seven boundaries in his 122-ball knock.

The Tigers are without the services of Litton Das, who is ill, in the first game.

Sri Lanka’s chase was also off to a rocky start when Taskin Ahmed went through the gates of Dimuth Karunaratne (1), right before Shoriful Islam had other opener Pathum Nissanka caught behind.

Before Sri Lanka could stitch anything up, Shakib spun through the gates of dangerman Kusal Mendis (5) as the hosts lost their third before reaching 50.

However, the low required rate remained a lingering issue for the Tigers, allowing Sri Lankan batsmen enough time to settle down.

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