Bangladesh drew first blood in the ODI series by demolishing the hosts Sri Lanka by 90 runs at the Dambulla stadium tonight. Batting first, the visitors piled 324 on the board courtesy a fine hundred from Tamim Iqbal and a half-century from Shakib Al Hasan.
No team had ever chased 300+ in an ODI in Lanka and the record remained intact as the hosts fell short by 90 runs. They lost their top three by the time they had 31 on the board and although Dinesh Chandimal lifted them up with a half-century, the game was done and dusted by then.
Thisara Perera, in his comeback match, played a few fancy strokes to race to a half-century but the target was too far away. Mehedi Hasan, on his ODI debut, opened the attack and did a fine job with the new ball before returning to nip out the well settled Chandimal.
Brief Scores: Bangladesh 324/5 ( Tamim 127, Shakib 72, Lakmal 2/45) beat Sri Lanka 234 in 45.1 overs (Chandimal 59, Perera 55, Mustafizur 3/56)
Here are the talking points from the first ODI at Dambulla.
#5 Tamim Iqbal's uncharacteristic knock
Bangladesh were on a high after levelling the Test series and Tamim Iqbal sent the team's fans into a frenzy by notching up a hundred and helping his side to a 300+ total. The left-handed opener was unusually watchful and took more than 110 balls to reach his century.
That said, Tamim was typically aggressive during an entertaining 90-run stand with Sabbir Rahman but as he approached his hundred, he slowed down. His 144-run stand with Shakib Al Hasan all but sealed the game for the visitors.
He flayed the Lankan bowlers to all parts of the fence, smacking 15 fours and a six, nearly batting through the innings. While he took 142 balls for his 127, he displayed admirable character to stay almost until the end.
#4 Shakib Al Hasan torments Lanka
Shakib Al Hasan was the architect of Bangladesh's Test win last week and once again appeared in sublime touch as he put on a match-turning 144-run partnership with Tamim Iqbal. The all-rounder kept the scoreboard ticking with constant strike rotation.
The southpaw soon completed his 33rd half-century in ODIs before unleashing three fours in an over to race to a run-a-ball 72 before he was dismissed. Shakib curbed his natural attacking instincts and played a mature role to help Bangladesh recover from a slight slump.
He then returned to bowl some tight overs to choke the run flow in the Lankan innings. Just when Asela Gunaratne looked set for another one of his fighting knocks, Shakib had him caught at backward point off a reverse sweep.
#3 The onslaught in the final 10 overs
Bangladesh were in a good position after the 40th over courtesy a stunning partnership between Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. But they still needed to add the finishing touches to a well-architectured innings.
It came initially from Shakib who shed his inhibitions to launch an attack on the Lankan seamers before Mossadek Hossain and Mahmudullah plundered a few boundaries to take Bangladesh past the 300 mark.
In fact, 60 runs came from the last 25 balls of the innings while more than 100 came in the last 10 overs. The backend onslaught helped the visitors to the fourth highest total by a visiting team against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
#2 Mehedi Hasan takes new ball on debut
Although a familiar figure in the Bangladesh Test side now, young off-spinner, Mehedi Hasan was playing his first ODI today and was immediately given the herculean task of opening the bowling attack with Mashrafe Mortaza.
He removed Kusal Mendis with a flighted delivery that was launched to long-on and proceeded to complete a five-over opening spell that went for just 17 runs while accounting for the wicket of Mendis. He was skilful and showed little signs of nerves on debut as Lanka looked completely bamboozled against him, much like in the Tests.
The off-break bowler returned to cut short Dinesh Chandimal's innings at 56. The middle-order batsman was confused with the flight and drift and top-edged a sweep to short fine leg. Mehedi is quickly turning into a young sensation, not only in Bangladesh but in world cricket.
#1 Thisara Perera is well and truly back
Sri Lanka knew they had little experience in their lower middle order and were possibly short of a seam bowling option as well. This was what prompted the selectors to recall Thisara Perera to the ODI team.
The experienced all-rounder was possibly the missing link in Sri Lanka's ODI setup as he made his comeback memorable with a typically aggressive half-century. Although it ended in a losing cause, Lanka know that with Gunaratne and Perera in the same team, oppositions cannot relax until the fall of the last wicket.
Perera seemed to be in his groove right from the time he walked out to the wicket but the task in hand was a bit too much for him. However, the hard-hitting all-rounder went about his business and notched up a fine half-century before being the last man dismissed to Mustafizur Rahman.