Nissanka, Asalanka partnership help Sri Lanka level series against Bangladesh

Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka taking a run in the 2nd ODI at Zahur Ahed Chowdhury stadium in Chattogram on 15 March in 2024Prothom Alo

Towhid Hridoy struck a brilliant career best 96 not out but it was not enough to save Bangladesh from a three-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka in the second One Day International (ODI) game at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram Friday.

Pathum Nissanka, who smashed a 113 ball-114 with 13 4’s and three 6’s, trumped Hridoy special to help the side level the three-match series. Bangladesh won the first game by six wickets.

Nissanka was complemented by Charith Asalanka’s 93-ball 91, a knock laced with six 4’s and four 6’s.

The duo shared 185 runs, a record fourth wicket partnership for Sri Lanka, breaking the previous record of 171 between legendary Arjuna Ranatunga and Roshan Mahanama.

Their partnership was key in helping the side overhaul Bangladesh’s 286-7 with 287-7 in 47.1 overs.

Earlier, Tiger opener Soumya Sarkar hit 66-ball 68 with 11 4’s and one 6 to give Bangladesh a solid platform despite Litton Das’ second consecutive duck in as many matches in the series.

After being out in the first ball of the innings in the previous match, Litton now got a three-ball duck when pacer Dilshan Madushanka had him caught by Dunith Wallelage at square leg.

Towhid Hridoy plays a shot
Prothom Alo

But skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto and Soumya counterattacked in style to put the Sri Lanka bowlers to the sword. They shared 75 runs for the second wicket off 71 balls before Madushanka, who snapped up 2-30, struck again to get the better of Shanto who made 39 ball-40 with six 4’s.

Wanindu Hasanranag who claimed 4-45 then came into the party, striking twice as he got rid of Soumya and Mahmudullah for duck in three balls.

With 130-4, Bangladesh were in danger of being bowled out cheaply. The situation further worsened when Hasaranga removed Mushfiqur Rahim for 25 and Mehidy Hasan Miraz for 12 to leave Bangladesh 189-6 in 36th over.

Towhid Hridoy meantime raised his seventh fifty off 74 balls but then bludgeoned the Lankan bowlers all corner of the park to hit the next 46 runs off just 28 balls. His belligerent approach was key in helping Bangladesh reach a respectable total.

He smashed three 4’s and five 6’s in his knock for which he played 102 balls.

But with dew around, Bangladesh knew the score was not enough to guarantee a victory.

Pacer Shoriful Islam continued his habit to strike with the new ball as opener Avishka Fernando edged a delivery to first slip for a duck in the first ball.

Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed reacts after taking the wicket of Charith Asalanka. He reached the milestone of 100 wickets in his ODI career so far
Prothom Alo

Taskin Ahmed bagged the crucial wicket of captain Kusal Mendis (16) and Shoriful, who finished with 2-49, again struck to get the better of Sadeera Samarawickrama, leaving Sri Lanka at 43-3 in seventh over. In the process, he reached the milestone of 100 wickets in his ODI career so far.

Nissanka and Asalanka rebuilt the innings astutely, much to the despair of Bangladesh bowlers.

After bringing up his fifty off 58 balls, Nissanka paced the innings impeccably and raised his sixth century off 100 balls, when he pulled a short delivery of pacer Tanzim Hasan to deep mid-wicket for a single.

Asalanka, who was thoroughly in an attacking mood, slog-swept left-arm spinner Taijul Isalm for a six over deep mid-wicket to raise his fifty off 50 balls.

But Bangladesh hit back to the game, dismissing those two set batters in consecutive overs.

Off spinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz broke through with the wicket of Nissanka before Taskin, who finished with 2-49, reviewed one successfully to dismiss Asalanka as Sri Lanka was 52 runs away from the victory.

Wanindu Hasaranga, however, played a 16 ball-25 with one 4 and two 6’s as Sri Lanka dented Bangladesh’s hope to seal the series with one game to spare.

The series deciding third game is on Monday.