Asia Cup, 2023 |Match 2 |8/31/2023 Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, Kandy
That is it then from this game and the 2023 Asia Cup has got off to a fast start with two teams already registering victories. Next up is the big clash, arguably the greatest rivalry in world cricket at the moment as arch-rivals India and Pakistan take on each other at the very same venue in Pallekele on Saturday, the 2nd of September. That blockbuster clash will begin at 3 pm IST (9.30 am GMT) but our build-up for the game will begin a lot sooner. Do join us then for all the action. Till then, take care and goodbye!
Matheesha Pathirana is the PLAYER OF THE MATCH for his brilliant four-fer. He mentions that it is his first ever player of the match for his country and he feels really good to receive it. He also adds that a little T20 approach is needed in this format and on this wicket it helped as it is on a slower side. He said that his action has always been a plus point for him and he is aware that he is rare and will continue to deliver the same way for his nation and himself.
Dasun Shanaka, the captain of Sri Lanka says that the target was less and credits the bowlers for restricting their opposition. He adds that Maheesh Theekshana was brought in early to slow down the pace and trouble the batters. He mentions that Sadeera Samarawickrama batted brilliantly and Charith Asalanka has been performing consistently for Sri Lanka.
The Presentation ceremony...
The Bangladesh skipper, Shakib Al Hasan says that there were not enough runs on the board, if the score was around 230-240, the match would have been a very different one. He added that as a batting unit, they did not bat well and they will look to regroup again as they have a couple of days before the next game. The captaincy was alright, he said that they could have picked up more wickets and that would have taken the match a little deeper but in the end gives the credit to the Sri Lankan batters for finishing the chase. In the end, he finishes off by saying that he has complete trust in his players and it's still an early stage in the tournament for them and they will come back harder in the next game.
The star of Sri Lanka's chase, Sadeera Samarawickrama is up for a chat. He says that the pitch was not easy and his plan was to bat deep and build a partnership. He adds that conditions were not ideal for batting because there was spin and the pitch was a bit slow. He mentions that the pull shot and drive are his strengths and he works on that.
Earlier in the game, Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and opted to bat first under an overcast sky and this didn't turn out to be the best of decisions as Bangladesh lost three wickets in just over 10 overs. Najmul Hossain Shanto however stayed resolute and put on a couple of decent stands with Towhid Hridoy and Mushfiqur Rahim but soon he ran out of partners. As a unit, Sri Lanka were solid with the ball and in the field with Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana being the standouts. The latter exploited the change of pace to perfection and ended with four wickets. Coming to the chase, it wasn't all too simple for Sri Lanka and Bangladesh bowled well but in the end, the target wasn't a steep one.
Bangladesh hung in there with the ball for a long time but they knew, one good partnership would take the game away from them and that's what happened. Having started quickly with the ball, they failed to create pressure after the first Powerplay and let Sadeera Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka just settle into a comfortable rhythm. To be fair, they didn't have runs on the board and skipper Shakib Al Hasan bowled really well too but it was simply a bridge too far for them.
The defending champions are up and running! A very well-contested game of cricket but it is Sri Lanka who have come out on top here against Bangladesh and started their Asia Cup campaign with a fairly straightforward win. Having set up the game brilliantly with the ball, all Sri Lanka needed was a decent start with the bat but were two down for just 15 runs. Sadeera Samarawickrama then counter-attacked a bit as his partner Kusal Mendis struggled at the other end before getting out. It was then a gritty stand between Samarawickrama and Charith Asalanka worth 78 runs that put Lanka on top of the proceedings. They did have a slight breakdown as they lost a couple of quick wickets but Asalanka stayed until the end and saw his side over the line.
Taskin Ahmed to Charith Asalanka, FOUR! Shorter and on the thigh pads. Charith Asalanka shuffles across and pulls it through the gap at square leg. The fielder in the deep can't reach it and the ball runs away to the fence for four more runs. Sri Lanka have won with 5 wickets to spare and have gained an advantage over the rest of the teams in their group.
Taskin Ahmed to Dasun Shanaka, Fuller, and on the pads. Dasun Shanaka flicks it away to square leg for one.
Taskin Ahmed to Dasun Shanaka, Short and outside off. Dasun Shanaka leaves it alone.
Taskin Ahmed to Dasun Shanaka, On length and onto the pads. Dasun Shanaka misses the shot as the ball hits the pads. There is an appeal but it is turned down by the umpire. Bangladesh has reviewed it. The UltraEdge shows that there is no spike. The ball tracking shows wickets hitting as umpire's call and Dasun Shanaka has survived.
Taskin Ahmed to Charith Asalanka, Short again on the helmet. Charith Asalanka pulls it to deep square leg for another single.
Taskin Ahmed to Dasun Shanaka, Short and on off. Dasun Shanaka pushes it to mid-wicket for a single.
END OF OVER 38 | 8 Runs & 0 Wkt | SL 158/5
Mahedi Hasan to Charith Asalanka, On length and on off. Charith Asalanka punches it to cover where the fielder collects it.
Mahedi Hasan to Charith Asalanka, Full and on off. Charith Asalanka defends it.
Mahedi Hasan to Charith Asalanka, SIX! UP UP AND AWAY! Mahedi Hasan bowls this short and on top of leg. Charith Asalanka rocks back and pulls it over mid-wicket. The ball sails over everyone and into the stands for a maximum. What a shot from Charith Asalanka.
Mahedi Hasan to Charith Asalanka, Floated up on middle. Charith Asalanka defends it.
Mahedi Hasan to Dasun Shanaka, Fullish and on leg. Dasun Shanaka flicks it away to backward square leg for one.
Mahedi Hasan to Charith Asalanka, Full and on the pads. Charith Asalanka nudges it to deep mid-wicket for a single.
END OF OVER 37 | 5 Runs & 0 Wkt | SL 150/5
Mehidy Hasan to Dasun Shanaka, Full and on the toes. Dasun Shanaka flicks it to the fielder at mid-wicket.
Mehidy Hasan to Dasun Shanaka, FOUR! Mehidy Hasan bowls this a bit short and outside off. Dasun Shanaka dances down and muscles this over mid on all the way for a boundary. He is looking to accelerate the innings now.