Bangladesh have put up a competitive 155 for 6 in the first Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka, thanks to a rapid start and some late resolve from Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain.
Electing to bat first after their skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza announced his retirement from the format, Bangladesh lost Tamim Iqbal early at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday evening.
The opener was bowled for a duck in the second ball of the evening by Lasith Malinga in an eventful first over.
Bangladesh’s first runs came from a wide ball which went for a boundary over the wicketkeeper’s head before Malinga dropped a return catch from Soumya Sarkar on his follow through.
Soumya and Sabbir Rahman then counterattacked and rattled the Sri Lankan bowlers who down the wrong line too often. The duo clubbed 51 runs from the next four overs, including 17 off a Malinga over.
They clubbed five boundaries and a six, off Malinga, between them, blazing away to 57 for 1 in 5 overs but lost the plot after that.
The urge to keep motoring, however, brought about their downfall in the last over of the powerplay as Sri Lanka struck back with quick wickets.
Sabbir fell for 16, run out to a direct throw from Asela Gunaratne at the non-striker’s end. Soumya was then frustrated by a couple of dot balls and skied pacer Vikum Sanjaya four balls later to perish for 29.
Before the Tigers could recover from the double blow, Gunaratne drove the knife deeper as Mushfiqur Rahim (8) looked to sweep one over the wicketkeeper but missed the cutter to be bowled.
Shakib tried to stay calm at one end, but did not last long either. He went down for 11 skewing Seekkuge Prasanna to point to leave his team reeling on 82 for 5.
Mahmudullah and Mosaddek Hossain then showed maturity and set up a competitive total with a half-century partnership.
The pair began slowly, dug in and minimised risky shots to carry Bangladesh past 100 in the 14th over. They ran hard between the wickets to keep the scoreboard ticking.
Malinga returned to the attack and stemmed the flow of runs with yorkers, before picking out Mahmudullah who tried to make room but played on to another full delivery for 31.
Mosaddek remained unbeaten on 34 with skipper Mashrafe (9).
Malinga took 2-37 while Sanjaya, Gunaratne and Prasanna chipped in with a wicket each.