Hridoy 82 is surpassed by Sadeera’s 93 as Sri Lanka begins the Super Four with a tight victory

Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by 21 runs

Sri Lanka won by 21 runs in Colombo thanks to Sadeera Samarawickrama wise 93, which defeated Towhid Hridoy tough 82 to give Sri Lanka a successful start to their Super Four campaign. With two losses in as many games in this round as a result, Bangladesh is now in trouble, while Sri Lanka have recorded their 13th straight ODI victory.

Hridoy and Mushfiqur Rahim, who were given a goal of 258 to win, would put on a 72-run stand for the fifth wicket, but on a difficult Premadasa Stadium pitch, the pressure built up by Sri Lanka’s bowlers would eventually tell, and Bangladesh fell just short of the finish.

While Samarawickrama’s knock will rightfully receive all the praise, Sri Lanka’s bowling unit also played a significant role in the victory. Their struggles with injuries are well known at this point, but it seems like someone stands forward to take the helm with each game that passes.

As he stepped up to finish with figures of 3 for 28, Dasun Shanaka, the captain, bowled nine overs for the second time in his career. He has never bowled the full allotment of ten overs in ODIs. 

Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mohammad Naim had a dangerous opening stand of 55 until Shanaka’s first strike, which saw Mehidy caught at short midwicket, ended the partnership. His final move would be to put a stop to Hridoy’s stand against Mushfiqur.

Maheesh Theekshana, Sri Lanka’s regular early-overs weapon, suffered a blow to his right thumb while batting, therefore he was removed from the attack after an opening over for eight runs. This is why Shanaka even needed to bowl so many overs. 

Theekshana, as it turned out, would return in the final few overs to take the key wickets of Hridoy, Shamim Hossain, and Taskin Ahmed – all of whom were lbw – to finish with three wickets, but 69 runs were given away off of nine overs, which was unusually high.

In addition, Matheesha Pathirana claimed three wickets, including Shakib Al Hasan, who was important to the team’s success. Two scorching yorkers were also enough to put an end to the tail that had briefly threatened to wag.

But without Samarawickrama, this game would not have been able to be won. It was that classic pitch where one of the batters just seemed to be playing on a completely other field than the rest of his teammates. 

Samarawickrama worked hard on the domestic circuit for many years to earn his turn, and after this performance, his spot in the ODI team should be all but guaranteed. It was an innings of accuracy and purpose.

Samarawickrama, who entered the batting order in the 24th over, played the game to its fullest potential by initially slapping the ball around and concentrating nearly entirely on singles. Actually, he had only two fours to his name through the 40th over. 

That number had reached eight at the time of his dismissal off the last ball of the innings, and there had also been two sixes added to the total. Sri Lanka scored 81 runs in the final 10 overs of the innings, resulting in a winning total of 257.

Anyone, other than Samarawickrama, didn’t seem to realize it at the midway point. The confidence in his tone suggested an unshakeable faith in his own assessment of the surface, which in and of itself lends additional weight to his knock. After his innings, he declared that the score was above-par.

This match was on the verge of ending in a fizzle towards the end before Samarawickrama’s rescue, just like so many other Sri Lankan batting performances before it. As Sri Lanka reached 103 for 1 at the end of the 22nd over, a foundation of a 34-run opening stand and a 74-run partnership between Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka had been established.

However, Sri Lanka only managed to score 74 runs between overs 22 and 40 as wickets continued to fall frequently. Kusal received a second consecutive fifty, but he was unable to turn it into a significant score again, as evidenced by his fifty-to-hundred ratio of 23:2.

Bangladesh did a good job of varying their bowling options at this time, typically combining pace and spin. This meant that the Sri Lankan hitters had to face the seamers at the other end while the spinners kept one end quiet. 

Each of the three Bangladeshi speed bowlers went for over six runs each over, yet they combined to take eight wickets, resulting in a lopsided scoreline. While none of the three spinners cost more than five an over, they all failed to get a wicket.

Hridoy and Mushfiqur stood and advanced towards victory in Bangladesh’s innings, which followed a similar pattern. Samarawickrama’s innings would ultimately make the difference, though. 

The combined score for both teams after 39 overs was 173 for 5. By the 40th over, Bangladesh had to score 81 runs to win, which was the exact number Sri Lanka had deducted from their final ten.

An inning, though, wouldn’t be unique if it could be simply duplicated. While Hridoy ran out of batters before being defeated by Theekshana, Mushfiqur failed in his attempt to strike out. There were a few lusty punches by the tail that suggested a late twist, but Sri Lanka had already done enough.

Sri Lanka 257 for 9 (Samarawickrama 93, Kusal 50, Mahmud 3-57) beat Bangladesh 236 (Hridoy 82, Shanaka 3-28, Pathirana 3-58) by 21 runs