Shashikala Siriwardena in action. ©ICC

In a battle of Asian sides, Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by a 25-run margin to register their first win of the WT20. Sri Lanka scored 97 in the first innings. In reply, Bangladesh were bowled out 72.

Batting first, the Sri Lankan batters could only manage to post 97-7 on the board. Their innings got off to a shaky start as opener Yashoda Mendis was dismissed for a golden duck by Jahanara Alam. Bangladesh then missed a DRS opportunity that would have seen the back Dilani Manodara. Fortunately for them, not taking the review did not do them much damage as, due to a horrible breakdown in communication between Manodara and her skipper Chamari Athapaththu, she was run out  for 16. Bangladesh did well in the field to exert pressure on their opposition. Their skipper Salma Khatun took a good catch on the boundary to send back Hasini Madushika for nine. Madushika skied the ball against the strong breeze and the ball caught up in it. S. Khatun did well to judge the ball.

However, she then dropped Athapththu’s- who, in a surprise change, came in at number four instead of opening- catch and missed out a run out opportunity. Again, Bangladesh were lucky that their misstep did not cost them too much. Giving a life to a player like Athapththu can have grave consequences, especially if she is hitting the ball cleanly, as she was. She was caught and bowled by Fahima Khatun on 12 off 16, having hit two beautiful boundaries. Shashikala Siriwardena top-scored with a 33-ball-31. A useful cameo of 12 off nine by Nilakshi Damayanthi helped lift her teams total to 97-7.

Alam was the pick of the bowlers for Bangladesh, claiming three wickets for 21 runs. Khadija tul Kubra, Rumana Ahmed and F. Khatun all took a wicket each, as well.

To defend such a low total, Sri Lanka needed to take some early wickets. That is exactly what Udeshika Probadhani delivered. There was late swing from her that first deceived Sanjida Islam, who was dismissed for a golden duck, too. Three balls later, Fargana Hoque also fell prey to the late swing. The first time around, Bangladesh did not take a review. If they had, it would have gone in their favour. Next time, they did take the review but, the ball was just clipping the top of leg stump. Bangladesh retained their review but, Hoque had to walk back.

In-form Ayasha Rahman was then caught brilliantly by Athapththu for 11. Ahmed was well-caught shortly afterwards. By the halfway stage, Bangladesh had been reduced to 28-4. Some resistance was provided by Nigar Sultana Joty, who laboured her way to 20 in 41 balls, but she was then run out. After the fall of her wicket, Bangladesh collapsed to 72 all out, Athapththu taking a wicket from the last ball of the 20th over. Sri Lanka won by 25 runs and now have three points to their name. Bangladesh still remain winless.

For Sri Lanka, Probadhani did the damage upfront, claiming 2-6 before she had to leave the field due to an injury she sustained going for a caught and bowled. Athapththu helped clean up the tail, finishing as the pick of the bowlers, with figures of 3-17. Siriwardena took two wickets as well, while Inoshi Fernando and Oshadhi Ranasinghe chipped in with a scalp each. For her all-round performance, Siriwardena was named Player-of-the-Match.

Bangladesh have now lost three of their matches and are out of the tournament. They will get an opportunity to end their campaign on a positive note though, against South Africa. Sri Lanka currently have three points. They have lost to South Africa, won against Bangladesh and their match against England was abandoned. They are yet to play against West Indies. Their qualification will depend on the results of the upcoming matches of Group B.