Nuwan Kulasekara‘s deft bowling helped Sri Lanka defeat Bangladesh by 70 runs in the third and final One-Day International (ODI), securing a 1-1 draw in the three-match series in Colombo on Saturday. Kulasekara claimed 4 for 37 as the hosts bowled out Bangladesh for 210 in 44.3 overs after making 280-9 at Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) Ground. Earlier, Kusal Mendis top-scored with 54 and Thisara Perera added 52 off 40 balls to give Sri Lanka a competitive score after Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza asked them to bat first. Mortaza claimed 3 for 65 while Mustafizur Rahman picked up 2 for 55 for Bangladesh. Bangladesh won the first match by 90 runs before the second match was washed out by rain. LIVE CRICKET SCORECARD: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI at Colombo
Chasing 281 to win the historic maiden bilateral ODI series on Sri Lankan soil, Bangladesh had the worst possible start, with Tamim Iqbal (4), Sabbir Rahman (0) and Mushfiqur Rahim (0) getting back to the hut by the time score read 11. Kulasekara took two of these wickets while Suranga Lakmal picked up the other. Soumya Sarkar (38) and Shakib Al Hasan (54) added 77 runs for the third wicket and tried to script a recovery. However, from here on, the Lankan spinners spun their web and tightened the noose on the opponents.
Dilruwan Perera got Sarkar stumped before Seekkuge Prasanna cleaned up Mosaddek Hossain for 9, thus leaving the tourists tottering at 111 for 5. Soon the last hopes for Bangladesh were dashed when Shakib was removed by Dilruwan, playing a lose drive and handing a simple catch to the fielder. Shortly, when Lakmal removed Mahmudullah (7) off a rising delivery down the leg, Sri Lanka’s victory was all but sealed.
Skipper Mortaza, Mehedi Hasan (who got to his maiden fifty in his first ODI innings) and Taskin Ahmed delayed the inevitable before Kulasekara returning for his final spell and wrapping up the tail. He finished with 4 wickets and was well supported by Lakmal, Dilruwan and Prasanna, who took 2 wickets each.
Earlier, Mortaza won the toss and invited his opponents to bat first. Sri Lankan openers got their team off to a good start, bringing up the 50 in the 7th over. Upul Tharanga was the aggressor of the two, as he hit Mustafizur and Mortaza for for 18 runs in the space of 6 balls, triggering a bowling change, which actually worked in the vistors’ favour, as Mehedi removed Danushka Gunathilaka (34). Tharanga, who made run-a-ball 35, soon followed him to the pavilion when hat-trick hero from the last game Taskin Ahmed cleaned him up.
Mendis and Dinesh Chandimal (21) then added 49 runs for the third wicket before a freakish run-out ended the latter’s stay in the middle. Mendis, nonetheless, kept going and brought up his ninth ODI fifty. However, he was dismissed at a time when Sri Lanka needed him the most. He perished immediately after his fifty, trying to run down a Mustafizur delivery to the third man. From here, it was left to Thisara and Asela Gunaratne.
While Gunaratne fell after scoring 34, Thisara continued to accumulate runs. He played a characteristic knock of 52 off just 40 balls. His fifty — 7th of his career — came of just 37 balls, with 4 fours and a six. He got a decent support from Dilruwan (15) towards the end, as the two added 45 runs for the 8th wicket. Thisara was eventually dismissed in the final over, ensuring his side went past the 275-run mark, a challenging total.
For Bangladesh, skipper Mortaza ended up with figures of 3 for 65, while Mustafizur picked up 2 for 55. Mehedi and Taskin took a wicket apiece while 2 wickets came through superlative effort in the field as run-outs.
Sri Lanka 280 for 9 from 50 overs (Kusal Mendis 54, Thisara Perera 52, Upul Tharanga 35; Mashrafe Mortaza 2 for 65, Mustafizur Rahman 2 for 55) beat Bangladesh 210 all-out in 44.3 overs (Shakib Al Hasan 54, Mehedi Hasan 51; Nuwan Kulasekara 4 for 37, Seekkuge Prasanna 2 for 33, Suranga Lakmal 2 foe 38, Dilruwan Perera 2 for 47) by 70 runs.
Result: Sri Lanka and Bangladesh drew three-match ODI series 1-1.
Man of the Match: Thisara Perera
Man of the Series: Kusal Mendis