If anything, Sri Lanka are difficult to beat at home. However, Bangladesh A team opener Saif Hassan took charge and scripted a small piece of history for the visitors’ second-string side as his blazing hundred clinched the three-match one-day series yesterday.
Bangladesh rode on Saif’s 110-ball 117 to win the series against their Sri Lankan counterparts 2-1, beating the hosts by 98 runs in the DLS method in the final game at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Bangladesh fought back in the series with a thrilling one-wicket victory in the second game after losing the opener and went hard at the hosts in the series-deciding game courtesy of Saif and Naim Sheikh, who lay the foundation by stitching together a 120-run opening stand.
“Saif played a brilliant knock while Naim missed a deserving hundred because of an unfortunate dismissal. The boys played good cricket here. It’s always a tough task to beat any Sri Lankan side on their home soil,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin told The Daily Star over phone from Colombo.
“If I am not wrong then it’s the first time any senior team from Bangladesh won a series in Sri Lanka. It will give lot of confidence to our cricketers,” he added.
Saif smote 12 fours and three sixes during his 110-ball innings as Bangladesh posted a mammoth 322 for nine after being sent in to bat.
In reply, Sri Lanka A scored 130 for six in 24.4 overs before bad light stopped play. The fate of the match was decided by the DLS method. Saif took two wickets for 25 runs while Ebadat Hossain also claimed two scalps in exchange for 26 runs.
Kamindo Mendis scored a team-high 65-ball 55 that featured two fours and three sixes.
Earlier, Bangladesh got off to a good start courtesy of openers Saif and Mohammad Naim, who made 66 off 76 balls with the help of five fours and two sixes. The 120-run opening stand was broken when Naim was dismissed for obstructing the field.
“He was unlucky. We saw nothing wrong but we had to accept the umpire’s decision,” Minhajul said regarding Naim’s dismissal.
Captain Mohammad Mithun was the other notable scorer with a 35-ball 32, featuring one four and two sixes. Pacer Shiran Fernando was the most successful bowler for the hosts, taking four for 50 runs.