Fluent Samarawickrama takes Sri Lanka to 257/9

Colombo, Sep 9 (PTI) Sadeera Samarawickrama and Kusal Mendis’ fifties notwithstanding, Sri Lanka never really could slip into the overdrive, meandering to 257 for nine against Bangladesh in their Asia Cup Super 4 match here on Saturday.

After being asked to bat first, Samarawickrama made 93 off 72 balls, Mendis 50 and Pathum Nissanka 40, yet the Sri Lankans might view this effort as a lost opportunity to be in a far stronger position.

Bangladesh were served well by Hasan Mahmud (3 for 57), while Shoriful Islam and Taskin Ahmed shared four wickets among them equally.

If a few edges did not elude the Bangladesh fielders or they remained more alert, Sri Lanka could have been in deeper peril.

After the early departure of Dimuth Karunaratne, who edged pacer Mahmud to Mushfiqur Rahim behind the stumps, Lanka found some sanity through Nissanka and Mendis.

The second wicket pair added 74 runs, though the partnership was not always smooth.

Mendis, in particular, looked scratchy in the middle and there were edges and false shots galore in his 73-ball 50.

Nissanka was relatively more fluent, but a clever slower delivery from Islam ended his stay, and even the DRS could not save the batter from the leg-before verdict.

The home side lost three more wickets in the span of next 14 overs as they struggled for a lively middle-over phase.

Samarawickrama, who is one of Sri Lanka’s better ODI batters this year, was an exception on the day. The elegant right-hander negated a rather slow pitch and Bangladesh bowlers to script a very fluent innings.

The right-hander was sure in his feet movement and judged the length very early, and a pulled six off Mahmud stood as a testimony to that.

Samarawickrama, who eventually got out in the last over of the innings, could have carried Sri Lanka to a better place with a bit more support but that was not forthcoming.

Source: PTI News


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