Kusal in control as Sri Lanka win opening Bangladesh T20

Kusal Perera helmed a composed Sri Lankan chase as the hosts clinched a six-wicket victory in the opening Twenty20 International with Bangladesh in Colombo.

The Test and one-day series between the sides both ended all square, but opener Kusal led the way with 77 at the top of the order after Bangladesh set a target of 156 for the win.

Seekugge Prasanna and Thisara Perera rounded off the victory, the former hitting an unbeaten 22 from 12 deliveries to help see the Sri Lanka home.

Bangladesh won the toss and elected to bat after a rain-delayed start, but saw opener Tamim Iqbal bowled for a duck by Lasith Malinga (2-38) after just two deliveries, in stark contrast to what his opposite number would achieve later in the match.

The arrival of Sabbir Rahman (16) at the crease helped steady the ship as he combined with Soumya Sarkar (29) for 57 runs, but the pair fell in quick succession in the sixth over.

Mosaddek Hossain (34 not out) and Mahmudullah (31) helped push the Bangladesh total further, although 155-6 was not a score that would give Sri Lanka too much of a headache.

Their reply was effective if unspectacular, with Kusal present in the middle until four balls before Thisara hit the winning boundary.

Upul Tharanga (24) and Asela Gunaratne (17) both chipped away at the target, while Prasanna stepped things up a gear as the match neared a conclusion.

With Kusal finally dismissed by Taskin Ahmed (1-33), it was left to Thisara to knock the same bowler for four and earn victory for Sri Lanka.

The second and final match takes place at the same venue on Thursday.


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