Kusal Perera made a roaring return to Sri Lankan colours, cracking 77 off 53 balls to lead the hosts on a successful hunt of Bangladesh’s 155 for 6. That Sri Lanka had so few to chase was partly the work of Sri Lanka’s bowlers, who made breakthroughs whenever a partnership threatened, though they were helped to that end by off-colour Bangladesh batting.
Mashrafe Mortaza, who as it turned out, was playing his penultimate game in the format, was by a distance the visitors’ best bowler. He claimed 2 for 32 from his four overs, and only one other bowler – Taskin Ahmed – mustered a breakthrough. Sri Lanka sauntered to the target with seven balls and six wickets to spare.
Tharanga: We played very well, to start on a winning note is very good. Malinga is one of the best bowlers in the world, Kusal played very well too. He was injured in the one-day series and played very well today. Malinga shares all the information with the guys. He knows what to do and even shares information with the batsmen. I got a good start but I have to continue and make it big.
Kusal Perera, the Man of the Match: I tried to finish the game but I couldn’t. I had a couple of injuries but I recovered very well, just tried to do my best. We had a couple of bad patches but we got over it. We did hard work and that’s how we got over the bad patches.
Sri Lanka go 1-0 up in the two-match series. The bowlers did well to restrict Bangladesh to a mediocre total before Kusal Perera led the way with the bat. Bangladesh kept fighting till the end but fell short.
Toss: Bangladesh, who chose to bat
Venue: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Umpires: Ranmore Martinesz, Raja Wimalasiri, Ruchira Palliyaguruge, Ishantha Gunawardene
Match Referee: Andrew Pycroft