Mirpur (Bangladesh), Feb 25 (IANS) Sri Lanka rode on a strong bowling performance to defend a small total and beat United Arab Emirates by 14 runs in their Asia Cup match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium here on Thursday.
Batting first, Lanka managed to post just 129/8 in 20 overs, thanks to some tight bowling by UAE bowlers. Dinesh Chandimal top scored with 50 runs.
In reply, UAE lost wickets at regular intervals as they could manage only 115/9 in 20 overs.
Skipper Lasith Malinga (4-26), Nuwan Kulasekara (3-10), and Rangana Herath (2-22) were the pick of Lankan bowlers.
Chasing a meek total, UAE got off to a disastrous start, losing opener Rohan Mustafa in the very first ball off the bowling of Malinga.
From there on wickets fell in clusters to have UAE at 38/5 inside eight overs.
Swapnil Patil (37) looked comfortable in the crease as he struck two sixes and three fours but as he was looking set to cause problems, Malinga got the batsman out caught off his own bowling in the 17th over.
But the batsmen who followed failed to take UAE past Lanka’s score.
Earlier on, Sri Lanka had a good start to their innings with openers Chandimal and Tillakaratne Dilshan (27) holding on to score at a modest pace without losing any wicket in first eight overs.
The tenth over of the innings saw Amjad Javed making the first breakthrough for UAE claiming the wicket of Dilshan who was looking dangerous. The reigning World Twenty20 champions were 68/1 at that stage.
Despite the first wicket, Chandimal held on to score some valuable runs.
But UAE bowled some tight overs and picked crucial wickets at important moments to reduce Sri Lanka to 89/3 in 14th over.
Next up, Shehan Jayasuriya (10) and Chamara Kapugedera (10) scored some needful runs at the end overs to help their team cross the 125-run mark.
Javed (3-25) was the pick of the bowlers for UAE.
Brief scores: Sri Lanka 129/8 in 20 overs (Dinesh Chandimal 50; Amjad Javed 3-25) vs UAE 115/9 in 20 overs (Swapnil Patil 37; Lasith Malinga 4-26)