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Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis 50s power Sri Lanka to 214/6 vs Bangladesh

Kusal Perera continued his magnificent form while Kusal Mendis continued his love affair with Bangladesh as their aggressive fifties put Sri Lanka on course for a big score in the Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 tri-series.

cricket Updated: Mar 10, 2018 21:29 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Kusal Perera,Kusal Mendis,Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh
Sri Lanka's Kusal Perera plays a shot against Bangladesh during their Twenty20 cricket match in Nidahas Trophy triangular series in Colombo on Saturday.(AP)

Kusal Perera continued his magnificent form by hammering his second consecutive fifty in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 Twenty20 tri-series while Kusal Mendis’ third fifty against Bangladesh took Sri Lanka to 214/6 at the R Premadasa Stadium on Saturday. (Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh blog | Scorecard)

Perera, who smashed a brilliant 66 off 37 balls against India to help the hosts snap a seven-match losing streak in the shortest format, continued from where he left off against Rohit Sharma’s side and punished the Bangladesh bowlers after Kusal Mendis and Danushka Gunathilaka helped Sri Lanka notch up fifty in the fourth over.

Coming to bat after Mustafizur Rahman had bowled Gunathilaka for 26, both Mendis and Perera took the attack to the Bangladesh bowlers. The 23-year-old Mendis started off in streaky fashion with an inside-edged four to the fine leg fence but recovered in style with a top-edged pull which sailed to fine leg for his first six.

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Two Kusals pound Bangladesh

Mendis continued to punish Taskin Ahmed by whipping a full ball over long on for his second six and with Gunathilaka giving him great support, Sri Lanka raced to 50 in just the fourth over. Despite losing Gunathilaka, Mendis continued to bat majestically by lofting a drive off Mustafizur Rahman to the long-off fence.

Perera started off in aggressive fashion with two fours off Rubel Hossain and changed gears in the 11th over by whacking Mehidy Hasan over long on for his first six and reverse paddling a flatter ball to the third man fence. At the other end, the 23-year-old Mendis batted with tremendous confidence and neared his milestone with a slog swept six off Nazmul Islam and a lofted six over long on off Mustafizur. Mendis notched up his fifty off just 26 balls by running a short ball down to third man.

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Perera continued to bat with aggression and neared his fifty with two fours off Soumya Sarkar, one cut through backward point and by pulling another short ball past short fine leg. The left-hander notched his ninth fifty off 34 balls by crunching a full ball from Taskin down the ground.

After blasting his fifth six by pulling Mahmudullah into the deep mid wicket stands, Mendis mistimed a slog to long on and was dismissed for a brilliant 57. However, the efforts of the two Kusal’s have put Sri Lanka on course for a huge score.

First Published: Mar 10, 2018 21:29 IST