It was a close game at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka but the Islanders emerged victorious in the T20 World Cup clash.
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Sri Lanka win by 5 wickets
Sri Lanka win the clash against Bangladesh by five wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Rajapakse's stunning knock comes to an end as Sri Lanka suffer a set back with the win in sight. The left-handed batsman was bowled by Nasum Ahmed for 53 off 31 balls.
Rajapakse completes his half-century as Sri Lanka trott towards the win. They are on 163/4, needing 9 runs off 13 balls.
Bangladesh will pay a heavy price for dropped catches as Sri Lanka now move to top gear to complete the formalities in style. Liton Das put down both Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapakse in the last few overs to literally drop the match in the process. The Islanders are 148 for 4 in 16 overs. Asalanka is batting on 65 off 40 balls while Rajapakse is unbeaten on 45 off 24 balls. Sri Lanka need 24 off 24 balls.
15 overs - SL 126/4 (Need 46 to win from 30 balls)
This is going to be close...
13 overs - SL 105/4 (Target 172)
Asalanka remains the main hope for Sri Lanka in their chase against Bangladesh. The left-hander, who has reached his maiden 50 off 32 balls, needs to stay till the end if Sri Lanka harbour any hope of crossing the target. After 13 overs Sri Lanka are 105 for 4, needing another 67 off 42 balls.
10 overs - SL 80/4 (Target 172)
Bhanuka Rajapakse is the next man in for Sri Lanka who need 92 runs from 10 overs to win. Can they do it?
Sri Lanka's chase unravels as the Islanders lose three wickets in two overs for the addition of eight runs. In a needless bravado, Hasaranga tried to clobber Safiuddin over mid-wicket only to sky the ball into the hands of Naim. The need of the hour is patience and there's plenty of runs on the pitch still. SL 79-4.
9 overs - SL 72/3 (Target 172)
That was a brilliant over by Shakib who has 2-6 from two overs. Wanindu Hasaranga is in next and Sri Lanka need him to score heavily...
Shakib returns after a break of one over to score a double strike in his second over to pull Bangladesh back into the game. The left-arm spinner bowled Pathum Nissanka for 24 before foxing Avishka Fernando for nought. In a desperate move, captain Mahmudullah brought back Shakib after ace left-arm pacer Mustafizur was carted all over the park for 13 runs. Shakib once again proved he is the man with the golden arm. Sri Lanka are 72 for 3 after 9 overs.
Bangladesh bring in their trump card Shakib early to break the developing second wicket partnership between Asalanka and Nissanka. The pair had put on a 52-run partnership to take Sri Lanka to 54 for 1 after the powerplay six overs. The left-right combination has been adopting a cautious approach - rotating the strike while hitting the big shots off the loose deliveries. The Tigers need to find a way to break the stand or the match will slip away from their grasp.
5 overs - SL 39/1 (Target 172)
Asalanka grabs a couple after a nice sweep and then Shakib's half-hearted lbw appeal agains Nissanka is ignored.
3 overs - SL 26/1
It’s payback time for spinner Charith Asalanka. After conceding 14 runs in one over, the Sri Lankan spinner repaid Bangladesh by the same token by scoring 16 off Nasum Ahmed’s second over, who dismissed Kusal Perera in the first over. Sri Lanka are 26 for 1 after 3 overs.
Mid-match summary: Sri Lankan pacers restrict Bangladesh to under-par score
By A.K.S. Satish, Assistant Editor
Sharjah: Sri Lanka's pacers restricted Bangladesh to an under-par 171 in 20 overs on a perfect batting wicket in the Super-12 match of the Twenty20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium today.
Put in to bat, Bangladesh opener Mohammad Naim kept one end up to score a patient 62 off 52 balls. The 22-year-old left-hander showed plenty of confidence and maturity to weather the early storm and play some crisp drives against a sustained Sri Lankan bowling attack.
A lot depended on the in-form Shakib Al Hasan, who failed for the first time in three games. The all-rounder, however, has a big role to play when the Tigers defend their turf against the Sri Lankan batsmen with his wily left-arm spinners even though the pitch is not helping the spinners.
Mushfiqur Rahim lived up to the expectations as one of the senior members of the team by scoring an unbeaten 57 off 37 balls after mixing caution with aggression. He was particularly severe on leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga. After the exit of Naim, the experienced skipper Mahmudullah should have walked in, instead of sending Afif Hossain, giving himself more time to score quick runs and also get some much-needed confidence.
Pacers Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando and Lahiru Kumara grabbed a wicket each as there is not much purchase for the spinners, which could make Bangladesh’s job difficult to contain the Sri Lankan batsmen.
20 overs - Ban 171/4
Mushfiqur, unbeaten 57, and Mahmudullah, 10 off 5 balls, take Bangladesh to 171 in 20 overs against Sri Lanka.
Mushfiqur reaches his half-century as Bangladesh cross the 150-mark in the 19th over against Sri Lanka. Bangladesh still need to find some big shots to give themselves a reasonable target to defend and also boost their confidence when they come in to bowl.
17 overs - Ban 140/3
Afif flicks a full toss from Binura away for a boundary.
Sri Lanka's pacers are not letting Bangladesh the freedom to go on the offensive in the final five overs, varying their length and pace. The result is the prized wicket of Mohammad Naim, who is dismissed for 62 while trying to force the pace from tall left-arm pacer Binura Fernando.
14 overs - Ban 107/2
Naim reaches his half century as Bangladesh cross the 100-run mark against Sri Lanka. The left-hander has shown his inclination for the assault by taking the aerial route to hit Lahiru Kumara for two fours. Bangladesh are 107 for 2 after 14 overs.
13 overs - Ban 96/2
Mushfiqur brings all his experience to break the shackles of the Sri Lankan bowlers, hitting sixes over the square leg region for the second time despite the bowlers not giving much room to break free. Mohammad Naim (46) and Mushfiqur have added a 40-run partnership for the third wicket to take Bangladesh to 96 for two at the end of of 13 overs. It's time for Tigers to increase the tempo.
Here are the latest thoughts on the action so far from Mr Cricket UAE, Anis Sajan...
10 overs - Ban 72/2
Honours even at the end of the half-way stage in the Super-12 clash between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Naim is unbeaten on 40 and Mushfiqur on 4 as the Tigers aim to increase the tempo in the final 10 overs. The spectators can expect to be treated to big sixes at the Sharjah Stadium.
It will be a big test for Bangladesh as they lose star man Shakib very early. The likes of Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah need to shoulder the responsiblity. Opener Naim continues to time the ball well to move to 34 as the Tigers score 65 for 2 after 9 overs.
8 overs - Ban 58/2
Those two wickets have brought Sri Lanka right back in the game.
Karunaratne dismisses Shakib to pull back Sri Lanka after spinner Asalanka gives away 14 runs in the first over. The wicket is holding no demons and conducive for strokeplay. Ban 56-2.
7 overs - Ban 55/1
Sri Lanka's spinner Asalanka makes a bad start as he is hit for three fours from his first over!
6 overs - Ban 41/1
Even though they have lost a wicket that's a good powerplay for Bangladesh but can they make the most of it?
Kumara gives Sri Lanka the much-needed breakthrough, dismissing Das for 16. The wicket brings in dangerman Shakib Al Hasan to the crease.
Naim and Liton Das shift gears to take Bangladesh to 38 for no loss after 5 overs, setting up base for the rest to build on the start.
4 overs - Ban 29/0
Lahiru Kumara drops one short and Naim is on it - he smashes it firmly for a boundary.
Double no ball allows Bangladesh the freedom after Sri Lanka's bowlers kept openers Liton Das and Naim quiet, conceding 21 runs in 3 overs.
2 overs - Ban 9/0
We have the first boundary of the day! Litton Das tickles the ball very fine for four. It is followed up by a firm drive through the covers for two more. Bangladesh are starting to find a bit of rhythm now.
1 over - Ban 2/0
Good start by Sri Lanka allowing only 2 singles from the first over. They are looking energetic in the field and these opening overs won't be easy for Bangladesh.
Naim Sheikh and Litton Das will open the batting for Bangladesh, while Chamika Karunaratne is taking the first over for Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh: Litton Das, Mohammad Naim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mahmudullah (capt), Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (capt), Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara, Binura Fernando.
Sri Lanka win the toss and elect to field in their Super-12 first match against Bangladesh.
Bangladesh's task won’t be easy against an assured Sri Lankan team
By A.K.S. Satish, Assistant Editor
Sharjah: The Bangladesh Tigers have just managed to sneak into the Super-12 on the back of Shakib Al Hasan’s stunning performances in the Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers. The veteran all-rounder stood up to be counted when the chips were down and guided Bangladesh to the next stage after the reversal against Scotland in their first game in Oman.
On the other hand, the Sri Lankans breezed to their victories, steamrollering the opposition ruthlessly, even reducing Netherlands to their second lowest score at Sharjah on Friday. Both these sub-continent teams are similar on bowling strength, but it is the Bangladesh batting that is a bit suspect. It is here the Sri Lankans hold the advantage even though they are in the rebuilding process.
The tired all-rounder Shakib needs to continue in the same vein if Bangladesh harbour any hopes of progressing in the tournament. But can he do it against an assured Sri Lankan side on a slow Sharjah pitch. Let’s see what unfolds today…