Sri Lanka 294 for 8 (Mathews 87, Kusal Mendis 54, Soumya 3-56, Shafiul 3-68) beat Bangladesh 172 (Soumya 69, Shanaka 3-27, Rajitha 2-17) by 122 runs
Sri Lanka cantered to a 122-run win in the third and final ODI of their series against Bangladesh to complete a 3-0 whitewash. After posting an imposing 294 for 8, their second-string bowling attack ran through the visiting side in 36 overs, bowling them out for 172. Bangladesh have now lost five ODIs in a row, starting from the World Cup, their worst run of results since 2014.
Sri Lanka’s dominating total came mainly due to three partnerships, two of which Mathews helmed – 101 for the fourth wicket with Kusal Mendis and 52 for the fifth with Shanaka. He only stepped on the gas when he figured it was absolutely necessary, and by then Sri Lanka were well on their way to a strong total.
After Kusal Perera and Dimuth Karunaratne exited in quick succession following their 83-run second-wicket stand, Mathews and Kusal Mendis kept it steady, hitting just a single boundary between overs 20 and 30. But they burst into life in the next ten overs, which set Sri Lanka on course for the big score.
Kusal Mendis struck five fours and a six in his 54 off 58 balls, falling to the first of Sabbir Rahman’s three catches. Mathews, at the other end, kept up the scoring with ones and twos, and took advantage of two missed chances on 32 and 63 respectively. But once Shanaka found his range, in the 44th over, Mathews also went after the bowling.
Shanaka struck two sixes and a four in Shafiul Islam’s 20-run 45th over, before falling to a catch that Sabbir made by running in from the long-off boundary. Bangladesh still conceded 43 runs in the last 3.5 overs as Sri Lanka took 106 runs in the last ten Mathews struck eight fours and a six in his 90-ball 87, while Shanaka blazed 30 off 14 balls.
While Sri Lanka were served well by the partnerships their batsmen strung together, Bangladesh were undone in the first 12 overs. Tamim Iqbal’s wretched tour ended with a caught-behind in the second over before Anamul Haque, playing his first ODI in 12 months, top-edged a flick a ball after hitting two fours off Kasun Rajitha. Mushfiqur Rahim, who made an unbeaten 98 in the second ODI, was caught at slip off Shanaka for 10, and the visitors slipped to 46 for 3.
Before 20 overs were complete, Bangladesh had lost half their side. Mohammad Mithun holed out to fine-leg where Lahiru Kumara juggled a couple of times before completing the catch, and Kusal Perera took a diving one-handed catch off a Mahmudullah edge in the 20th over, the batsman finishing the series with only 18 runs to his name.
Sabbir and Mehidy Hasan were then both caught in the covers off Kumara, leaving Soumya Sarkar to try to bat through till the end. He reached his first fifty after ten innings, before being bowled by Akila Dananjaya for 69, having struck five fours and a six in his 86-ball knock, the only good hand in the innings.
To add to his good batting effort, Shanaka picked up three wickets, while Rajitha and Kumara took two each.
It was the sort of performance to lift a team after a disappointing World Cup campaign, and Sri Lanka, with the 3-0 win, got exactly what they wanted. It was the opposite for Bangladesh.