The Sunday Leader

Tamim, Shakib Star As Bangladesh Crush Sri Lanka

  • ODI Series

Bangladesh carried forward the momentum from their historic 100th Test win by making a rousing start to the three-match ODI series in Dambulla. Tamim Iqbal, with his eighth hundred, and Shakib Al Hasan fashioned their formidable score of 324 for 5 before a combined effort between the bowlers and fielders helped them shut out Sri Lanka for 234 in 45.1 overs.

This was the first time Bangladesh had posted a 300-plus total away from home against a higher-ranked team, one that helped them cruise towards a win for most parts. Thisara Perera, coming in at No. 8, decided to upset them temporarily with a fifty off just 28 balls just when victory looked a foregone conclusion for the visitors. But the escalating asking rate resulted in big shots from the other batsmen, which eventually led to their downfall.

Bangladesh’s opening batsman Tamim Iqbal who was instrumental in leading his side to a historic test win over Sri Lanka last week, continued to torment the Lankan bowlers smashing 127 to help the tourists to post an impressive 324 for 5 in the opening ODI at Dambulla on Saturday.

Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan (72) flayed the lankan bowlers in a stand of 144 for the fourth wicket that helped Bangladesh post 324, the fourth-highest total by a visiting team against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka. The enormity of Sri Lanka’s task doesn’t need much explanation: no visiting team has chased 300 plus to win an ODI here.

Tamim reached his eighth hundred while Shakib made a late charge to score a 71-ball 72 to help Bangladesh recover from a spot of bother in the 23rd over. They batted sensibly for most parts and only cut loose after Tamim got the three-figure landmark out of the way.

Soumya Sarkar fell to an away-swinger from Suranga Lakmal to give Sri Lanka an early opening, but Bangladesh hardly put a foot wrong for the next 20 overs or so. Tamim and Sabbir continued from where they left off on the fifth day of the Colombo Test. Sabbir was particularly aggressive, hitting five boundaries in the space of 13 deliveries at one stage. The stage was set but he threw it away by driving one that was pouched well by a diving Upul Tharanga at cover.

Mushfiqur Rahim fell immediately to Lakshan Sandakan as Sri Lanka hit back to temporarily arrest momentum. But Bangladesh’s two senior batmen expertly bailed them out of the situation, initially playing the bowlers on merit before looking to attack.

Tamim reached his century with a tickle towards square leg. Shakib got to his 33rd fifty soon after and then struck Lahiru Kumara for three fours in the 45th over. The hosts were deprived of Suranga Lakmal’s two overs after he injured a finger in his right hand after being struck by a Shakib drive. He was the only bowler who took two wickets, as the rest simply crumbled due to lack of experience and support from the outfielders.

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