Sri Lanka pierced Bangladesh’s virtual last line of defence in seeing the back of star batsman, Mushfiqur Rahim when inform paceman Kasun Rajitha clean bowled the man who had been their tormentor just 19 runs into the first session in romping to a magnificent 10-wicket triumph that 23-year old right-arm medium pacer Asitha Fernando basked in career best Player of the Match figures of 6 for 51 as the hosts crashed out for 169 in the second Test at Mirpur, Dhaka today. It took the Lankan openers Oshada Fernando and Dimuth Karunaratne 3 overs to strike off the 29 for a truly memorable victory to take the 2-match series 1-0. Fernando was on 21 and the skipper on 7.
The Sri Lankan smiles were on just after the third delivery of the eighth over of the day when Rajitha, worked himself into full throttle in breaking the defence of a hitherto impregnable Rahim who had taken two centuries off the Lankan attack in two successive innings. The contest was good as over with Rajitha winning the day for his side with the bogey man gone for 23 and the host team reduced to 53 for 5 after 20.3 overs and buckling for 160 with the last seven wickets falling in just 42.3 overs.
Resistance did come the Lankans way by the Litton Das-Shakib-Al Hasan 103-run sixth-wicket. But it was as long as it would last with the duo put out of the contest just on the stroke of half centuries as the Lankan camp went through the formalities of bowling out the hosts for 169 with the last 7 wickets fall on the day consuming just 42.3 overs. If Rajitha started the slide with the prize wicket of Rahim, stepping in to put the icing on the cake , young speedster Asitha Fernando in a double strike accounted for both Das and Al Hasan in the space of 7 runs and 3.2 overs. He caught and bowled Das for 52 and had Hasan caught behind by stumper Niroshan Dickwella for 58 as Bangladesh precipitated to 163 for 7 and went on to trap Taijul Islam for 1 and bowled last man Khalid Ahmed for a duck with the end hastened in 4.1 overs. It was dream ending for the Lankan product from St. Sebastian’s College, Katuneriya who made his mark by his tremendous match winning feat that fetched him a match haul of 10 for 144.
Indeed, this Lankan conquest did resonate in a truly ebullient all-round display which did mark a significant turnaround from the past that reflected the honing in impact infused by the New England born Head Coach Chris Silverwood whose password to the boys has been to play aggressive, smart cricket.
Bangladesh 506 and 169 (55.3 Overs)
(Shakib Al Hasan 58, Litton Das 52, Mushfiqur Rahim 23, Asitha Fernando 6/ 51, Kasun Rajitha 2/40, Ramesh Mendis 1/20)
Sri Lanka 506 and 29/0 (3 Overs)
(Oshada Fernando n.o. 21, Dimuth Karunaratne n.o. 7)