Bangladesh got off to a poor start with the bat and were 36/3 in the 11th over. Tanzid Hasan was trapped lbw by Maheesh Theekshana for a duck, while Mohammad Naim fell to Dhananjaya de Silva for 16. Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan was the next to go for 5, caught behind off Pathirana.
Towhid Hridoy and Najmul Hossain Shanto added 59 for the fourth wicket before the latter was trapped lbw by Dasun Shanaka for 20. Mushfiqur Rahim (13) also fell cheaply to Pathirana, while Mehidy Hasan Miraz (5) was run-out following a mix-up with Shanto.
Even as wickets kept falling from one end, Shanto held the other end up and compiled a hard-fought 89 off 122 balls, striking seven fours. He was looking good for a hundred when he was knocked over by Theekshana. Pathirana got the wickets of Taskin Ahmed (0) and Mustafizur Rahman (0) to bring the curtains down on Bangladesh’s innings.
Chasing 165, Sri Lanka also got off to a poor start, losing three wickets with 43 runs on the board. Dimuth Karunaratne was cleaned up by Taskin Ahmed for 1, while Pathum Nissanka (14) fell to Shoriful Islam. Shakib then struck another big blow as he knocked over Kusal Mendis for 5.
Sadeere Samarawickrama (54 off 77) and Charith Asalanka (62 not out off 92), however, struck fine half-centuries to put the chasing side in control. The duo added a defining 78 runs for the fourth wicket. Samarawickrama hit six fours before being stumped off Mahedi Hasan, while Asalanka struck five fours and a six. Dhananjaya de Silva was dismissed for 2 by Shakib, but skipper Shanaka came in and scored an unbeaten 14 as the 2022 champions (T20I) began their campaign on a winning note.
Speaking after the win, Sri Lankan captain Shanaka praised his bowlers and said, “The way bowlers executed, credit to them. Especially Theekshana up front, Dhananjaya, and Pathirana who's bowling so well. Tricky surface. The way Sadeera batted, today was his day. Asalanka has been outstanding over last 2 years. Good signs for Sri Lankan cricket.”
--By A Cricket Correspondent