A Thisara Perera special took Sri Lanka A from a precarious position to a series levelling 67-run win over their Bangladeshi counterparts in the second of three one-dayers at the Sylhet International Stadium yesterday.
Perera hit an 88-ball 111 studded with nine fours and five sixes to fish the second-string Lankan side out of trouble at 129 for seven to an eventually match-winning score of 275 all out in 49.4 overs.
Left-arm spinner Malinda Pushpakumara and off-spinner Nishan Peiris then took three wickets each to bundle the hosts out for 208 in 44.3 overs. The series is now tied at 1-1 after Bangladesh A won the first match at the same venue by two runs on Tuesday.
But for half of Sri Lanka A's innings after they chose to bat first it seemed that the hosts would wrap up the series with one match to play as Bangladesh A spinners Al-Amin, Nayeem Hasan and Sunzamul Islam combined to dismiss half the side inside 21 overs and with just 103 runs on the board.
Only opener Upul Tharanga could cope with the spin web but he was fifth out for 44, caught off Sunzamul. That was when Perera came in but even then it seemed that the burly big hitter would not be able to impose his will on the match as Nayeem dispatched Shehan Jayasuriya and Afif Hossain dismissed Minod Bhanuka to get them seven down for 129.
An extraordinary 77-run eighth-wicket partnership followed during which Pushpakumara scored just eight runs. Perera then added 44 for the ninth wicket Shehan Madushanka before he was ninth out, caught off pacer Shoriful Islam, the bowler who came in for most punishment as he conceded 74 from 10 overs.
In Bangladesh's chase, all of the top six batsmen got starts but none crossed the 46 scored by Al-Amin. National discard Soumya Sarkar disappointed once more with just 12.
The third and final one-dayer will take place in Sylhet on July 21.
SCORES IN BRIEF
SRI LANKA A: 275 all out in 49.4 overs (Tharanga 44, Priyanjan 21, T Perera 111, Madushanka 36; Shoriful 2-74, Nayeem 3-42, Sunzamul 2-21)
BANGLADESH A: 208 all out in 44.3 overs (Saif 28, Zakir 32, Mithun 25, Al-Amin 46, Ariful 27; Pushpakumara 3-32, Peiris 3-39)
Result: Sri Lanka A won by 67 runs.