Bangladesh put on an emphatic show against Sri Lanka at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka on Sunday, to help the home team emerge triumphant by 23 runs. Sabbir Rahman was the standout player for Bangladesh, scoring 80 runs from 54 balls, while their bowlers, primarily Al-Amin Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman, shone with the ball. Shakib-Al-Hasan also picked two important wickets.
Bangladesh, who won the toss and decided to bat, suffered an unfortunate start with both the openers – Mohammad Mithun and Soumya Sarkar – back in the dugout without opening their respective accounts. Bangladesh were on the backfoot early with two runs and two wickets down, but Sabbir was not to be bogged down by the poor start.
The right-hander began to play a counter-attacking brand of cricket, which worked for the batsman, as he thrashed the Lankan bowlers all around the park. Sabbir's confidence climbed to another level as he began to hit boundaries at will against both the seamers and spinners, which helped him score an impressive 54-ball 80. Sabbir's innings comprised 10 fours and 3 sixes.
Besides Sabbir, Shakib also played his part in the first innings, scoring a 34-ball 32. However, a late flourish from Mahmuddulah, who hit a six and two boundaries in his 12-ball 23, helped Bangladesh score 147 in their allotted 20 overs.
Much credit to the final score that Bangladesh put on the board goes to Sabbir, who dug Bangladesh out of trouble early on. Dusmantha Chameera was the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets for Sri Lanka.
Such a total on the board was always going to be a tricky affair and Sri Lanka openers had to provide a great start for them to emerge victorious.
Though experienced opener Tillakaratne Dilshan might have failed to provide a good base for the rest of the batsmen to follow, getting out for 12 runs, Dinesh Chandimal and Shehan Jayasuria looked good against the Bangladesh bowlers, scoring 44 runs during the powerplay.
Chandimal and Jayasuria were going great guns, but lost their wickets in quick succession. Mahmuddulah and Shakib dismissed Chandimal and Jayasuria respectively in the 11th and 12th overs to put pressure on the Lankan Lions . The score read 78 for the loss of three wickets, with 70 runs still required to win the T20 contest.
Two new batsmen -- Anglo Mathews and Thisara Perera – were at the batting crease. They had to play an integral role if they were to emerge victorious. Bangladesh bowlers troubled the duo, with the required run rate touching 10 runs per over. The home team climbed on top, after Perera was dismissed by Mustafizur Rahman for four runs in the 14th over.
Sri Lanka lost all hope of a win after Mathews lost his wicket in the 18th over. Bangladesh bowlers not only took wickets, but also bowled beautifully to contain the Sri Lanka batsmen from scoring runs freely.
Sri Lanka could score just 124 runs, while chasing Bangladesh's total of 147 runs, with Chandimal top-scoring with 37.
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