Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka edged past an impressive Bangladesh Side in a heart-enthralling encounter at the Dubai international stadium. The highly significant match between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh ended in the most intense manner as one could have imagined it to be.
The match was a must-win one for both sides as the winner would be able to find a spot in the super 4 stages along with Afghanistan. Bangladesh had to bow out of the tournament after a bitter defeat in the dying minutes of the match-up against a resilient Sri Lankan team. The match took numerous twists and turns before it finally ended up in Sri Lanka’s favor.
Bangladesh put up a strong show with the bat early on by setting up a healthy total of 183 runs on the board in their registered 20 overs. Vice-captain, Afif Hossain played a crucial inning of 39 runs off 22 balls while batting in the lower middle order.
Mehidy Hasan at the top of the order also played fairly good innings of 38 runs. Some incredible finishing touches from Mahmudullah Riyaz and Mosaddek Hossain in particular saw Bangladesh reach a competitive total by the end of the 20th over. All five bowlers managed to bag wickets with Chamika Karunaratne being the pick of them, finishing with figures of 2/32 in his 4 overs.
Wanindu Hasaranga too picked a couple of wickets while Matheesha Theekshana, Asitha Fernando, and Dilshan Madushanka picked a wicket each.
Sri Lanka came out to chase the total with all guns blazing. The opening duo of Pathum Nissanka and Kushal Mendis put up a fine 45-run partnership. Just when it seemed that Sri Lanka was off to an ideal start the onslaught from the Bangladeshi bowlers began.
Debutant Ebadot Hossain picked up two wickets in his first over. Dhanushka Gunathilaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksha who came into bat after that were also removed cheaply. Kushal Mendis who was holding one end right from the beginning got some support from his skipper Dasun Shanaka. The two added 54 runs for the 5th wicket and brought back Sri Lanka into the match. However regular strikes from the Bangladeshi bowlers pegged back Sri Lanka’s run chase once again.
Mustafizur Rahman picked a well-set Kushal Mendis for 60 and this kept the Bangladeshi hopes alive. The match was seemingly going down to the wire with runs being scored by the batters and the chase being slowed down on a regular basis by the fall of wickets. Chamika Karunaratne came up with some quality strokes lower down the order to assist Dasun Shanaka and the duo got Sri Lanka ever so closer to the target.
However, another time Bangladesh bounced back as Shanaka holed out to deep mid-on, and Karunaratne was run out by Shakib Al Hasan in the penultimate over. Asitha Fernando who walked in at no.10 initiated the last and final turnaround of the match. With 12 needed off 7 balls, Asitha smashed his first ball for a boundary. In the last over, the tailender heroically saved the day for Sri Lanka as he smashed another boundary in the last over and with his 10 runs off just 3 balls was able to take Sri Lanka within touching distance of a memorable win in this Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka matchup.
A no-ball bowled by Mehidy Hasan in the 3rd ball of the last over was good enough for Sri Lanka to cross the finish line and register a memorable win.
This win enabled Sri Lanka to find a place in the Super 4 stages alongside Afghanistan from its group. The match will be particularly remembered by cricket lovers for its incredible intensity, twists, and turns till the final over. This Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka encounter indeed was one of the most unpredictable matches in the history of the Asia Cup.