- Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl.
- Asitha Fernando turned out to be an unlikely hero as he scored 10 off just 3 balls.
Sri Lanka pulled off an absolute thriller vs Bangladesh in a knock-out clash and defeated them by the barest of margins - two wickets. Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl.
Bangladesh youngsters Afif Hossain and Mosaddek Hossain played impactful knocks at various stages of the innings to help their team reach a commanding 183 for seven against Sri Lanka in a do-or-die Asia Cup group league game here on Thursday.
Afif (39 off 22 balls) and Mahmudullah (27 off 22) added 57 runs in just 6.1 overs for the fifth wicket to ensure that Bangladesh lay the platform to cross the 180-run mark. Then Mosaddek played a brilliant cameo, smashing 24 off nine balls to help Bangladesh reach a more than respectable total.
The match that garnered a lot of attention due to a statement by Sri Lankan skipper Dasun Shanaka and a counter-reply by Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mahmud Sujon, saw both the teams scrap it out.
After the first innings, it was 'even stevens' as Sri Lanka "without any world-class bowlers" as Mahmud had termed the opposition attack, did well enough till the 14th over, only to lose the plot towards the end.
Bangladesh, on their part, could claim the upper hand as despite losing wickets at regular intervals, they kept up the tempo to post a challenging total in the end. A move to promote Mehidy Hasan Miraj (28 off 26 balls) at the top of the order did work partially as he did take on the Lankan attack before being castled by Wanindu Hasaranga's (2/41) googly.
Skipper Shakib Al Hasan (24 off 22 balls) did hit a few cheeky boundaries off Chamika Karunartane as he completed 6000 runs in all forms of T20 (domestic and international) cricket. He, however, fell to an indiscreet shot selection of a Mahesh Theekshana (1/23 in 4 overs) delivery that was aimed at the middle stump.
Once Afif and Mahmudullah came together, they shifted gears as the last six overs yielded as many as 74 runs. Credit to tail-enders, Mosaddek and Taskin Ahmed (11 not out off 6 balls), Bangladesh garnered 17 of the last over. Chasing 184, Sri Lanka got off to a solid start as they raced away to 48 runs in the Powerplay. Mendis was the main man for Sri Lanka as he scored 60 off just 37 deliveries and led from the front.
Sri Lanka lost their way in the middle innings, but Asitha Fernando turned out to be an unlikely hero as he scored 10 off just 3 balls to help his team pull off the highest-ever chase in UAE.
Bangladesh Playing XI
Sri Lanka Playing XI
Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis(w), Charith Asalanka, Danushka Gunathilaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dasun Shanaka(c), Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Asitha Fernando