Match summary: Sri Lanka pull off a thrilling win
Sri Lanka pulled off a victory from the jaws of defeat to sneak into the Super 4 with a two-wicket win over Bangladesh in the DP World Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday (September 1).
It was an important win for the hosts Sri Lanka, who had the continental showpiece moved away from home to the UAE due to the political situation. The islanders, who rely heavily on home fan support, finally managed to win, despite several costly lapses that could have cost them the game.
Several no-balls and the resultant free-hits along with the wides, 17 extras in total, from the Bangladesh bowlers made the Sri Lankans' job easier. However, big credit to Kusal Mendis, who fought gamely despite several lives, and skipper Dasun Shanaka, who injected life into Sri Lankan chase with a positive approach.
Ebodat Hossain, who was the hero for Bangladesh with three wickets, turned villain in his final over, the penultimate over costing 17 runs.
Bangladesh’s woes continued as they allowed Sri Lanka to escape, despite the islanders giving them numerous chances.
There were many individual efforts during the chase for Sri Lanka, but none of them was sustained. They were losing wickets at the wrong time and were conceding the initiative to Bangladesh. The Sri Lankans need to alter their approach in the Super 4, should they fancy their chances of making the final.
Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh to enter Super 4
Sri Lanka overhauled the Bangladesh score of 183 to win by two wickets with four balls to spare in a thriller at the Dubai International Stadium.
Advantage Bangladesh after Mendis’ untimely wicket
Kusal Mendis’ luck runs out as he was fourth time unlucky. But despite getting several chances, the Sri Lankan opener will be kicking himself for his untimely dismissal, coming at a time when Bangladesh were searching for a wicket. In a desperate bid, skipper Shakib throws the ball to his ace pacer Mustafizur and he struck the vital blow to the threatening partnership and more importantly leaving skipper Dasun Shanaka in the lurch.
The Sri Lankan skipper was timing perfectly and had Mendis, who was dropped early, then was recalled after being dismissed off a no ball and then his faint edge was not reviewed by Bangladesh, stayed on for a few more overs, things could have been different as both teams were level at 88 for four at the 11-over mark. Now the tail begins and Shanaka had to wage a lone battle. Advantage Bangladesh.
Sri Lanka tread a familiar path in powerplay
Sri Lanka’s innings is going in the similar path that caused their downfall in the opener against Afghanistan. After showing some restraint in the early overs, and punishing the loose deliveries, the islanders began the chase in the right direction before two wickets in one over, the last of the powerplay overs, nullified the early gains that the openers Pathun Nissanka and Kusal Mendis had with a 45-run opening partnership.
After Nissanka fell off the bowling of Ebadot Hossain, and three balls later Charith Asalanka fell again for a cheaply, this time for a single after a golden duck in the opener. Once again the batters are not showing the desired patience. After six overs, Sri Lanka are 48/2.
Bangladesh set Sri Lanka a challenging target
Bangladesh, despite losing wickets at regular intervals, scored a challenging 183 for seven with useful contributions from most of the top batters against Sri Lanka.
Fall of wickets generally halt a team’s progress, but Bangladesh had made their homework to play smart cricket to score almost 100 runs in the final 10 overs one a good batting wicket that plays true and is easy to hit through the line.
Sri Lanka’s trump cards Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga went for runs. The Bangladesh batters ran hard and put pressure on Sri Lankan bowlers, who cracked. They also got carried away by the extra bounce and kept bowing a shorter length that made the Bangladesh batters’ job easier.
Though it is a challenging total, Sri Lankan batters need to show patience and take the cue from Bangladesh to rotate the strike and run hard and ensure they have enough wickets in the final 10 overs to launch the counter-offensive. But it’s not going to be easy against the likes of Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan.
Smart cricket keeps Bangladesh in the runs
Afif Hossain may be young but has the experience of 48 Twenty20 internationals. In the company of former skipper Mahmadullah, he is milking the bowling with a mix of caution and aggression to put Bangladesh in a position to launch the offensive in the final five overs. The Sri Lankan pacers are likely to come under severe assault. After 15 overs, Bangladesh are 123 for four. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan went for a well-made 24.
Runs keep flowing for Bangladesh despite two wickets
Two quick wickets, including the dangerous opener Miraz, and aided by the spread-out field have enabled the Sri Lankan bowlers to peg back the Bangladesh batters, bringing the run rate down. But Shakib is getting into the groove at the right moment. The Bangladesh skipper has realised that he is not able to play big shots, so he is playing some smart game and ensuring that the scoreboard keeps ticking. At the halfway mark, Bangladesh are 85 for three. If Bangladesh could double the score, they will have a good total to defend.
Sri Lanka’s best laid plans go wrong
Sri Lanka will be ruing their decision to bowl first after winning the toss as Mehdy Hasan Miraz has scuttled the best-laid plans of the Islanders. Also by bowling first, the Lankans are playing using their trump card early, and their inexperienced batting will be exposed under pressure while chasing a stiff target.
The wicket is playing true, and the extra bounce is giving the batters the opportunity to stand and deliver over the infield. So far it’s game Bangladesh in the first six powerplay overs. After six overs, Bangladesh are 55 for one with Miraz on 38 and skipper Shakib Al Hasan on 4, getting ready to play a long innings.
Sri Lanka opt to bowl first
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl first on a wicket with a dry look and less green tinge on the surface, which means the spinners will play a big role in the game.
Sri Lanka have made just one change. Asitha Fernando makes his debut, replacing Matheesha Pathirana. Bangladesh have made three changes. Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan and Ebadot Hossain coming in for Anamul Haque, Mohammed Naim and Mohammad Saifuddin.
Bangladesh have the edge against Sri Lanka
By A.K.S. Satish, Sports Editor
Dubai: Bangladesh’s experience will help against Sri Lanka in a virtual knockout quarter-finals of the DP World Asia Cup at the Dubai International Stadium on Thursday (October 1).
After Test newcomers Afghanistan shocked Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to book their place in the Super 4, the two senior nations are battling for the remaining spot from the tough Group B.
Bangladesh ran Afghanistan close and lost the match in the final overs, after a stunning assault by Najibullah Zadran. The Sharjah wicket was tailor-made for Afghanistan spinners, despite that Shakib Al Hasan’s team fought well before suffering a seven-wicket loss.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka surrendered meekly to Afghanistan in the opener and were all out for a paltry 105, which the Afghans knocked off with eight wickets to spare.
Bangladesh’s quality batting gives them the edge over the inexperienced Sri Lankan batters, though both sides boast of good bowling options. The Dubai wicket could assist the spinners but not as much as the Sharjah one.
It’s a chance for Bangladesh to redeem their pride, especially after the recent Zimbabwe thrashing. For Sri Lanka, hosts of the Asia Cup, it is important bring cheer to a country gripped by economic and political crisis.