By BV Swagath
Bangladesh recorded their maiden win over Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka on Thursday night in what was a rain-affected final ODI at Pallekele. Set to chase a big target of 303, Bangladesh got off to a superb start between Mohammad Ashraful and Anamul Haque who put on 77 in 12.5 overs. Ashraful scored 29 (from 38 balls) before falling lbw to Sachithra Senanayake. Haque scored an impressive 40 from 46 balls with 5 fours.
In the 14th over, rain arrived at Pallekele to stop the match for a long time. Play resumed again with Bangladesh needing a revised target of 183 from 27 overs. The Tigers who were well set already played attacking cricket and despite losing wickets got closer and closer to the target. Towards the end, the Tigers had lost as many as 7 wickets and were conceding defeat from a winning position. However, Nasir Hossain kept his cool to take their home with an over to spare. Hossain scored an unbeaten 33 from 27 balls with 6 fours.
Earlier, Sri Lanka following a 116-run opening stand between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kushal Perera (56 from 66 balls with 5 fours and a six) posted a total of 302 for 9. Dilshan went onto score his 16th ODI century and finished with a 128-ball 125 which came with 12 fours. Kumar Sangakkara scored a 49-ball 48 while Lahiru Thirimanne chipped in with a crucial cameo of 25* from 15 balls. Sri Lanka could have got a much bigger total but lost too many wickets in the end. Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak who claimed 5 for 62 went onto become the first ever Bangladeshi to pick up 200 ODI wickets.
Tillakaratne Dilshan for his century got the Man of the Match award. Having scored two centuries, Dilshan was also named as the Man of the Series.