Sri Lanka finally got off the mark in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League by registering their first win of the competition as they beat Bangladesh by 97 runs in the third and final ODI on Friday.
Captain Kusal Perera and Dushmantha Chameera fired with bat and ball, respectively, to help the team clinch their first points in the Super League, even though it came in a dead-rubber game as Bangladesh had already taken an unbeatable lead after winning the first-two ODIs of the 3-match series.
Perera smashed his sixth ODI century to help his team post 286 for 6 on the board after electing to bat first. Perera top-scored with 120 off 122 balls with 11 fours and a six while Dhananjaya de Silva contributed with 55 not out.
The hosts in reply were rocked early in their run chase by Chameera who reduced Bangladesh to 3 for 28 with the wickets of Mohammad Naim, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal.
Mushfiqur Rahim, Mosaddek Hossain and Mahmudullah briefly brought their team back in the game with the 4th and 5th-wicket partnerships worth 56 and 41 respectively, but their hopes diminished after the trio were sent back by Ramesh Mendis and Binura Fernando.
Chameera then dismissed Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taskin Ahmed to complete his maiden five-wicket haul in ODI cricket. Wanindu Hasaranga and Ramesh Mendis took a couple of wickets each while Fernando got one.
Mushfiqur Rahim was adjudged Player of the Series for scoring 28, 125 and 84 runs in the three matches while Perera took home the Man of the Match award for playing a captain's knock.
"Badly needed win, but we lost the series. My innings, I took calculated risks in the first 10 overs. Once I get set, I try to bat for 30-35 overs. I took my chances and once you get set you have to get a big one.
"50-60 is not enough for the team, so once I got set I changed gears to try and bat long. Our bowling department did a really good job. Our only concern in the first two games was the batting. Otherwise fielding and bowling we have done well. Some of the guys coming into touch is a good sign," Perera said after the game.
The win saw Sri Lanka register their first points - 8 - in the Super League after 6 games. Bangladesh lead the table with 50 points from 9 ODIs.
1st Test, Gros Islet,10-14 Jun 2021
3rd ODI, Utrecht, Jun 7 2021
1st Test, London, 02-06 Jun 2021
2nd ODI, Utrecht, Jun 4 2021