A swashbuckling half-century by opening batsman Kusal Perera powered Sri Lanka to a comfortable six wickets triumph over Bangladesh in the first Twenty20 International played at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Tuesday evening.

With this victory, Sri Lanka took an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match Twenty20 International series. The second and the final T20I will be played at the same venue on Thursday.

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza won the toss and decided to bat first. Speaking at the toss, the Bangladeshi captain also announced his retirement from the Twenty20 International cricket.

The decision to bat first backfired immediately as the in-form opening batsman Tamim Iqbal went back into the hut for a naught. Soumya Sarkar (29 off 20 – 3 fours, 1 six) and Sabbir Rahman (16 off 14 – 2 fours) joined forces and contributed 57 runs for the second wicket partnership at a brisk pace.

Bangladesh looked all set for an onslaught at 1/57 from 5.1 overs when Sabbir Rahman was caught short of his ground by Prasanna.

Wicket-keeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim (8 off 9 – 1 four) and the fourth best all-rounder in the ICC T20 Rankings Shakib Al Hasan (11 off 15) failed to provide the impetus to an innings which lost its sheen once the second wicket partnership culminated by excellence in the field.

A late onslaught by Mosaddek Hossain (34* off 30 – 3 fours), Mahmudullah (31 off 26 – 3 fours), and Mashrafe Mortaza (9* off 5 – 1 four) took Bangladesh to a mediocre score of 6/155 from 20 overs.

Average first innings total in T20 Internationals at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo is 153 runs and the Bangladesh’s total was just about the par score at the venue, thanks largely to the young trio of Sri Lankan spinners.

Vikum Sanjaya (1/24), Asela Gunaratne (1/24), and Seekkuge Prasanna (1/19) went for only 67 runs from their combined 12 overs as together they delivered 28 dot balls. Veteran pacer Lasith Malinga led the bowling effort with figures of 2/38.

Chasing 156 runs for the unbeatable advantage in the two-match series, Sri Lanka got off to a flying start as Man of the Match Kusal Perera (77 off 53 – 9 fours, 1 six) and skipper Upal Tharanga (24 off 23 – 4 fours) scored 65 for the opening wicket from just 6.5 overs.

Although Dilshan Munaweera (8 off 6 – 1 four) and Asela Gunaratne (17 off 18 – 1 four) fell cheaply, Kusal Perera’s presence ensured Sri Lanka were on the money right till the end.

Seekkuge Prasanna (22* off 12 – 1 four, 2 sixes) and Thisara Perera (4* off 1 – 1 four) finished the job efficiently as Sri Lanka achieved the required target with seven balls to spare.

Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza (2/32) and Taskin Ahmed (1/33) were the only wicket-takers for the visiting team which lacked support from their fielders who dropped more than single catches and missed run-out chances.