Colombo: Bangladesh managed to edge past hosts Sri Lanka to set up final clash against India of the Nidahas Trophy 2018. In a rollercoaster 6th T20I, visitors managed to held on their nerves, and beat hosts by 2 wickets.
It was introduction of Shakib Al Hasan in the squad, which lifted Bangladesh’s spirits across all departments.
Sri Lanka came out with momentum on their side. Akila Dananjaya started Bangladesh’s stutter early on. He first got rid of Liton Das for 0, and then got Sabbir Rahman stumped for 13. Tamim Iqbal was joined by run-machine, Mushfiqur Rahim.
The pair unfazed by the target kept on taking singles to ease off scoreboard pressure. Tamim in particular, was aggressive using his feet against the spinners. They added 50 runs in 40 deliveries without any fuss. Rahim with a single towards mid wicket, crossed 1,000 T20I runs as well.
Rahim in an bid to up the ante, handed a catch to Kusal Perera at extra cover off Amila Aponso. Soon after registering his fifth T20I fifty, Tamim fell. Danushka Gunathilaka getting the crucial breakthrough.
With required run-rate creeping up, Soumya Sarkar and Mahmudullah found themselves in the middle. Jeevan Mendis came into the attack, and produced instant results. Sarkar trying to thwart Jeevan Mendis straight down the wicket, managed to edge the ball to the keeper for 10.
Mahmudullah was joined by skipper Shakib Al Hasan in the middle. Mahmudullah displayed a steady head, picking boundaries in between singles that kept required rate in check. Shakib was dismissed by Isuru Udana to a nothing shot.
Mahmudullah kept Bangladesh’s hopes alive, taking the equation to 12 off 7. It was then a brain-fade moment that saw Mehedi Hasan run himself out. Mustafizur Rahman trying to bring Mahmudullah on strike, got himself run out.
Earlier, Sri Lanka were lifted to 159 for 7, thanks to knocks by Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera. Both the Pereras added 97 runs for the sixth wicket. Kusal Perera reached his 10th, while Thisara Perera reached his maiden T20I fifty during the innings.
Put in to bat, the hosts were reduced to 41-5 before Kusal, who made 61 off 40 balls, put on a crucial 97-run stand with stand-in skipper Thisara, who hit 58.
The left-handed duo thwarted the Bangladesh attack, which was bolstered by the return of captain and allrounder Shakib Al Hasan, who got the first wicket with his left-arm spin.
Both Kusal and Thisara hit the bowlers to all parts of the ground at the R. Premadasa Stadium, hitting 10 fours and four sixes between them.
Pace spearhead Mustafizur Rahman claimed two wickets but gave away 39 runs in his four overs despite bowling a maiden.