#CWC15: Dilshan and Sanga tons for Sri Lanka break Bangladesh

A fine display with both bat and ball helped Sri Lanka to a 92-run victory that also saw it leapfrog Bangladesh in the Pool A table of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

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Sri Lanka, struggling of late, brought its full range of experience into play, with a dominant display at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Thursday.

The pitch at the MCG had patches of green on it, but was still considered favourable to the batsmen. So it was no surprise that Angelo Matthews chose to bat first, and the decision was justified by his top order.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakarra hammered centuries, while Lahiru Thirimanne contributed a fifty, as Sri Lanka posted a mammoth 332 for one.

Bangladesh couldn’t front up well enough, and it was eventually bowled out for 240. It failed to put up partnerships big enough to overhaul as big a total, with the 64-run stand between Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim for the sixth wicket its highest.

Things may have been different had Bangladesh taken all its chances in the field. Both Thirimanne and Sangakkara were dropped at various stages. In the very first over, Thirimanne edged Mashrafe Mortaza straight to Anamul Haque at first slip, but the straight catch was fumbled.

Thirimanne partnered Dilshan in a 122-run stand for the opening wicket that laid the foundation for the eventually tall total.

Dilshan bounced back to form in style with an ODI best

Thirimanne’s adventurousness was countered by Dilshan’s early assiduousness. Sri Lanka played with caution initially – Taskin Ahmed even bowled a maiden – but in the 20th over, Dilshan shifted gears. He took Taskin with timing as crisp as fresh toast. There were drives down the ground and through the covers, and a pull to fine leg as he completed a half-century off 59 balls.

Thirimanne completed his own fifty off 74 balls, but his luck ran out as he guided a short-ball from Rubel Hossain straight to Taskin at third man. In walked Sangakkara playing in his 400th ODI. He didn’t have the backing of form – with just one half-century in his last 10 one-day innings. However, he let his intentions be known early, clattering one through covers to the fence.

The Batting Power Play was called for in the 33rd over, and Sangakkara had some luck going his way at the end of the over, dropped on 23 by Taskin, the bowler failing to hold on in his follow through. Punishment was dished out and Bangladesh was soon battling a two-pronged attack. Dilshan and Sangakkara quickly took the score past 200, with Sangakkara notching up a half-century in 45 balls.

In the death overs, it was just carnage. Dilshan completed his century, off 115 balls, his 21st in ODIs. Sloppiness in the field didn’t help. Sangakkara was once again dropped, on 60, with Mominul Haque this time the culprit. A massive 122 runs were scored in the last ten overs, as Sri Lanka crossed 300 for the first time in this tournament. Sangakkara notched up his own century – his fastest in ODIs - off 73 balls.

Bangladesh needed a solid start, something it could build on later in the innings. Unfortunately for the side, Lasith Malinga would have none of it. A zinger of a delivery – the second of the innings – went through Tamim Iqbal and the stumps lit up. Soumya Sarkar tried to hit out, smashing three fours off Suranga Lakmal in the fourth over. But Mathews had him caught behind. In the very next over, Suranga Lakmal got into the act, inducing an edge off Mominul Haque.

Sri Lanka celebrate the dismissal of Anumul Haque

There was some resistance when Anamul and Mahmudullah put on 43 for the fourth wicket, scrapping more than hammering, with prods and singles. However, they tried one hurried single too many. Anamul rushed for a single after Mahmudullah pinged one to midwicket, Rangana Herath effected a direct hit and Anamul (29) was gone. When Mahmudullah (28) then holed out off Thisara Perera, Bangladesh was in dire straits.

When Shakib and Rahim were in the middle, there was a chance of a fightback though. Shakib was in a particularly vengeful mood. The two started off diligently, steering clear of risks and claiming the easy singles. They had a few overs to spare, and the first goal was to keep wickets intact.

They carried on in similar vein till 29th over, when Shakib decided it was time to accelerate. First, he came down the wicket to Herath and lofted him down the ground for six. Then, there were consecutive fours, driven through the mid-off and cover region. Rahim then entered the act, lifting Dilshan over long-on for six. However, just when the partnership looked threatening, Sri Lanka got the big wicket, Shakib (46) holing out off Dilshan.

Rahim carried on to put together 44 with Sabbir Rahman, but Lakmal broke that stand, clattering Rahim’s stumps with a slower ball. Rahman went on to notch up a half-century, off 60 balls, but Dilshan had Mortaza stumped and Malinga bagged consecutive wickets in the 47th over to bring an end to proceedings.

“Sangakkara and Dilshan were superb,” said Sri Lankan captain Matthews. “The start they got was brilliant. Dilshan was amazing! It was a clinical performance, slightly sloppy in the field but as soon as you get 300 our bowlers can go out and perform.”

“Fielding was tough, but hopefully next match we will be better,” added Mortaza, the Bangladesh skipper. “We are aiming to win our next game and hope that today is our worst game of the tournament.”

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James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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