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Sri Lanka cruises to 28-run victory over Bangladesh to win T20 series 2-1

SYLHET, Bangladesh (AP) — Opener Kusal Mendis hit a brilliant 86 and pacer Nuwan Thushara added a career-best 5-20 including a hat trick as Sri Lanka cruised to a 28-run victory over Bangladesh in the final T20 to win the series 2-1 on Saturday.

Sri Lanka won the first match by three runs but Bangladesh leveled with an eight-wicket victory.

Mendis’ 55-ball knock that included six fours and as many sixes single-handedly drove the side to 174-6 and then Thushara, playing his first game in the series, ripped through top-order in a swing bowling display.

“This is our last series before the World, so we take a lot of confidence from this,” Sri Lanka captain Wanindu Hasaranga said.

“It’s Thushara’s first game this series, he bowled really well," he added. "This is a good series win for us and just think our bowling attack was too good for them.”

Rishad Hossain hit seven sixes, the highest by a Bangladesh batter in this format in an innings, for his 30-ball 53 as Bangladesh recovered from 32-6 to be all out for 146 in 19.4 overs.

Thushara, the replacement of injured Matheesha Pathirana, took four wickets in his two overs including a hat trick to ruin Bangladesh’s hope to seal its first-ever T20 series victory against Sri Lanka.

Dhananjaya de Silva broke through with the wicket of Liton Das (7) and then in next over, Thushara joined the party. He removed captain Najmul Hossain Shanto (1) and Towhid Hridoy by rattling their stump before trapping Mahmudullah for leg-before. Mahmudullah reviewed in vain as Thushara became the fourth Sri Lankan bowler to achieve a hat trick in this format.

In his next over, Thushara got the better of Soumya Sarkar, and then Hasanranga dismissed Jaker Ali (4) to leave Bangladesh 32-6.

“We have to be careful going forward how we play in the first six overs,” Shanto said. "If you look at all three matches, we played some good cricket. Especially the way Rishad, Taskin (Ahmed) and Mahedi (Hasan) batted, really happy for them.”

Earlier when Bangladesh put Sri Lanka into bat first for the third time in a row in the series, Kusal Mendis led the charge with the second best 19 not out coming from Dasun Shanaka.

Fast bowler Taskin Ahmed, who claimed 2-25, broke through with the wicket of De Silva.

Kusal put on 34 with Kamindu Mendis (12) and 59 with Hasaranga (15) to lay the platform.

Taskin took the crucial wicket of Kusal to deny him the century. His dismissal also sparked a mini-collapse, denying Sri Lanka a chance to take its total past 200.

The teams will also play three one-day internationals and two test matches to conclude the tour.

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AP cricket: https://apnews.com/hub/cricket