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20-Mar-2012 17:27:00 GMT
Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Asia Cup, Mirpur

All-round Bangladesh Reach Historic Final

Dhaka: India received a major setback as they failed to qualify for the Asia Cup final after Bangladesh registered 5-wicket win over Sri Lanka in their last Asia Cup league match.

Nasir Hossain (36*), Mahmudullah (32*) shared unbeaten 77 runs partnership for the sixth wicket to guide Bangladesh reach their first ever Asia Cup final.

India's stunning victory over arch-rivals Pakistan went in vain as Bangladesh set up the summit clash with Pakistan which will be played on Thursday.

As per the rules of the tournament, if two teams are tied on points, head-to-head record will be considered, so Bangladesh made it to the final as they had beaten India in their league match.

Chasing a revised target of 212 (40 overs), Bangladesh were reduced to 40/3 in seven overs. However, birthday boy Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan scripted a terrific comeback and powered the side with their fiery shows. Both batsmen struck half-centuries each to rescue their side from a poor start.

Spinner Sachithra Senanayake removed Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal in quick succession to help Sri Lanka fight back in match.

Both batsmen slammed half-century each, to lift their side from a poor start, before falling to Senanayake.

Iqbal scored 59 off 57 deliveries and shared a solid 76-run stand with Shakib Al Hasan for the fourth wicket after pacers dented Bangaldesh's run-chase with quick wickets. Hasan on the other hand made 56 off 46 balls.

The duo destroyed Sri Lankan attack with their fiery shows before Senanayake struck with his magical spin. The spinner got Iqbal caught by Thirimanne and then trapped Hasan leg before wickets to give the hosts fifth blow.

Earlier, chasing a revised target of 212, Bangladesh were reduced to 40/3 in seven overs by the Lankan pacers.

Nuwan Kulasekara removed Nizamuddin to give Bangladesh first blow before Suranga lakmal ended Jahurul Islam's challenge.

Kulasekara bowled out Nazimuddin (6) in the second over after game resumed. Lakmal then got Islam caught by Chamara Kapugedera in the seventh over.

In the next over skipper Mushfiqur Rahim then became second victim of Kulasekara to give Sri Lanka control. Bangladesh need to chase 212 in 40 overs to set final date with Pakistan.

The target was revised as rainfall delayed hosts' run-chase after Sri Lanka were bundled out for 232 in 49.5 overs.

For Sri Lanka Chamara Kapugedera (62), Lahiru Thirimanne (48) and Upul Tharanga (48) made significant contributions in the middle-order after a top-order collapse saw the islanders reeling at 32 for three in 10 overs.

Comeback man Nazmul Hossain was the pick of the bowlers with figures of three for 32 while left-arm spinners Shakib-al Hasan (2/56) and Abdur Razzaq (2/44) also got important breakthroughs.

Medium pacer Hossain, who was drafted into the playing XI in place of Shafiul Islam, struck triple blow to reduce Sri Lanka to 32 for three within the first 10 overs after Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim opted to field.

Thirimanne and Kapugedera then joined hands to stem the rot. The duo didn't take too many risks as they went on doing their job quietly.

The 88 runs they added did not come at a great pace and there were only five boundaries during their stay of little under 23 overs. They concentrated on taking singles as the 100 came up in the 28th over.

Thirimanne missed out on a half century when he charged out to a Razzaq delivery that was going down leg-side. Thirimanne's 48 came off 73 balls with three hits to the fence.

Kapugedera completed his eighth ODI half-century with a push towards mid-on that fetched him two runs. He found an able ally in Upul Tharanga (48, 44 balls, 5x4, 1x6) who was positive from the onset as they added 49 runs for the fifth wicket stand.

Brief scores
Sri Lanka
232 (Kapugedera 62, Tharanga 48, Nazmul 3-32)
Bangladesh 212 for 5 (Tamim 59, Shakib 56*)
Result Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka by five wickets
Points Bangladesh 4, Sri Lanka 0
MOM Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)

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