They achieved it as there were two set batsmen to do the job.
Young left-hander Charith Asalanka smashed an unbeaten 80 off 49 balls while fellow southpaw Bhanuka Rajapaksa made a brisk half-century (53) as Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by five wickets.
“It was not the easiest targets to chase but once batsmen are set, any target can be chased,” Shanaka said at the post-match presentation.
“It was an outstanding innings from Asalanka. It’s very important that youngsters step up at this stage, it was really nice to see that.”
Player of the Match Asalanka, who hit five fours and as many sixes during his entertaining unbeaten knock, was happy to have played a winning knock for his country.
“I am very happy and my friends back home will be very happy, they always back me. I want to keep it up and look forward to do the same for my country in the upcoming games,” he said.
“When I faced the first ball, it looked like a good pitch and I backed myself to play my natural game. Rajapaksa played a brilliant knock and he changed the momentum,” said the 24-year-old Asalanka, who has played just eight ODIs and four T20Is before Sunday’s match.
Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah said he thought 171 could have been defended.
“Liton and Naim gave us a very good start. Naim held the innings. Mushfiq played a brilliant innings. We were in the game till the tenth over. But things went wrong for us after that.
“We will correct that in the next game. We watched the IPL games and thought an extra spinner would help. The spinners bowled well but we missed a couple of chances. This game will boost up our batting unit and we are looking forward to the next game.”