Tigers level Lankan ODI series

Bangladesh sealed a series-levelling victory, their first ever against Sri Lanka in the island, in the third and final ODI in Pellekele on Thursday.Chasing a revised target of 183 in 27 overs, the Tigers got off to a frantic start but soon lost wickets in a heap before scrambling home with six balls to spare and three wickets in hand.
Nasir Hossain held his nerve and stayed until the end with 33 not out as wickets continued to fall around him.
He added a crucial 18 runs for the eighth wicket with Shohag Gazi (4) who brought up the winning runs.
The second ODI on Monday was washed out after five overs in Sri Lanka’s innings. The home side won the first match on March 23 by eight wickets.
When rain halted play Bangladesh were 78-1 after 13.4 overs.
The hosts picked up Mohammad Ashraful (29) after the right-hander was trapped lbw by Sachithra Senanayake.
He and Anamul provided a solid platform for the rest of the team to chase by adding 77 runs after seeing off the new-ball threat of Lasith Malinga.
Armed with a new target, Bangladesh began their pursuit at breakneck speed but in doing so they kept losing wickets to keep Sri Lanka in the hunt.
Anamul (40) was first to go when he was caught after three players converged on the ball then Jahurul Islam (27) was caught behind. Both wickets fell to Angelo Mathews.
The wickets of Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim run out for nine and deputy Mahmudullah trapped lbw compounded the visitors’ woes.
Left-handed Mominul Haque then helped to add 22 runs in three overs with Nasir before Lasith Malinga removed him for 11 off 15 balls. The slingy bowler also got rid of Ziaur Rahman in the same over to leave Bangladesh tottering 166-7 in 25 overs.
But Nasir did not let the situation get to him unlike the earlier batsmen and he found an able partner in Shohag Gazi His seven-ball knock eventually decided the game with a boundary.
Earlier, Abdur Razzak became the first Bangladeshi to claim 200 ODI wickets as the home side scored 302-9 in 50 overs.
The left-arm spinner picked up his fourth five-wicket haul for 62 runs and narrowly missed out on his second hat-trick. He was also the last Bangladeshi bowler to take a hat-trick in ODIs, against Zimbabwe in 2010.
Introduced in the ninth over, he took out Kumar Sangakkara (48 off 49 balls) in the 36th over with a flat and full delivery just outside off.
He then bowled Thisara Perera with a tossed-up delivery which straightened in the 38th over. Two overs later, he foxed captain Mathews with a flighted delivery with a lot more air outside off and Mushfiqur effected a simple stumping behind.
Razzak started the 50th over trapping Nuwan Kulasekara with a quicker one pushed through from round the wicket.
Bangladesh’s premier spinner then claimed his 200th ODI wicket and was on a hat-trick when he clean-bowled Senanayake with a full and loopy delivery drifting in on the middle and leg stump.
Malinga survived a loud appeal for an LBW when a flatter delivery skidded on straight and hit him on the front pad.
But his superb effort was overshadowed by Man of the Match and Man of the Series Tillakaratne Dilshan’s 16th one-day century. He smashed 125 off 128 balls with 12 fours.
Dilshan brought up his hundred off 110 balls with eight fours.
The Bangladesh seamers Shahadat Hossain and Ziaur Rahman could make no impression on the Lankan openers who rattled up 54 runs in seven overs.
Sri Lanka who won the toss added 116 runs for the first wicket between Dilshan and Kusal Perera (56) before Mahmudullah forced the left-hander to perish trying to cut the ball but it went straight to the point fielder.
The other notable stand was 87 for the second wicket between Dilshan and Sangakkara.
Interestingly, Bangladesh had to wait until the 43rd over for the first and only maiden bowled by Gazi. Also Ziaur claimed his first ODI wicket when he bowled Dinesh Chandimal for a duck.
Lahiru Thirimanne’s late flourish with 25 not out off 15 balls helped Sri Lanka cross the 300-run mark.
(Source: Agencies)

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