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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Bangladesh edge past SL to set up India final

Bangladesh edge past SL to set up India final

Last updated on: March 16, 2018 23:11 IST

Mahmudullah

FILE IMAGE: Bangladesh batsman Mahmudullah celebrates victory. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Bangladesh pulled off a sensational two-wicket victory over Sri Lanka under dramatic circumstances to set up a summit clash against India in the T20 tri-series in Colombo, on Friday.

Mahmudullah slammed a quickfire 43 not out from just 18 balls, including a stunning six off the penultimate delivery the match to take his team to victory and send the Bangladesh camp into wild celebrations after tempers were frayed due to debatable decisions from the umpires.

The match at the R Premadasa Stadium was marred by drama at the fag end of the virtual semi-final as Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan gestured to his two batsmen to come off the field apparently in protest against the umpire not ruling a no-ball for shoulder-height bouncers.

But better sense prevailed in the end as the match officials intervened and the Bangladesh players decided to continue with the game.

Bangladesh, who have also beaten Sri Lanka earlier in the tournament, secured four points from four matches to enter the final.

India, with six points from four matches, had already qualified for Sunday's final, while hosts Sri Lanka finished last with two points.

Chasing a target of 160, Bangladesh were nicely placed at 80 for two at the halfway stage but they lost their way after that as their three key batsmen -- Mushfiqur Rahim (28), Tamim Iqbal (50) and Soumya Sarkar (10) -- fell one after the other in the next three overs.

Bangladesh kept themselves in the hunt, as captain Shakib Al Hasan (7) and Mahmadullah brought the equation down to 30 runs needed from the last three overs for victory.

But the departure of Shakib, who was playing his first match of the tournament after sitting out due to a finger injury, in the 18th over made matters difficult for the visitors.

However, the experienced Mahmadullah kept his nerve and after a brief period of frayed tempers took his side home.

Bangladesh needed 12 from the final over but Mustafizur Rahman (2) was given run out in the second ball which triggered a wave of wild protests both from Mahmadullah and the team bench beyond the ropes.

After the matters were sorted out, Mahmadullah hit the third ball of the final over for a boundary and then hoisted Isuru Udana for a six to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

 

Earlier, captain Thisara Perera and Kusal Perera struck half centuries as Sri Lanka recovered from a top-order batting collapse to post a competitive 159 for seven in their 20 overs.

Put into bat, Sri Lanka were in all sort of trouble early in their innings against the Bangladeshi bowlers, led by young left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman whose incisive pace spell rocked the home side batsmen.

IMAGE: Shubhankar Sharma in action during the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship. Photograph: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

But the Perera duo, Thisara (58) and Kusal (61) showed their mettle with a fine counter-attacking batting display to take their side past the 150-run mark.

Sri Lanka were 41 for five in the ninth over and they were staring at a meagre total but Thisara and Kusal had other ideas as the duo flayed the Bangladesh bowlers at the later stages of their innings.

Kusal ,who scored his third half century of the tournament, needed 40 deliveries for his 61. He hit seven fours and one six. Thisara, on the other hand, faced 37 balls for his 58 and struck three fours and as many sixes.

Bangladesh were, however, on top initially with their bowlers, led by Mustafizur Rahman (2/39), creating havoc on the home side top-order batsmen.

The 22-year-old Mustafizur, who was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 2.2 crores for the upcoming 11th edition of the Indian Premier League, had in-form Kushal Mendis (11) in the fourth over and then dimissed Dasun Shanaka (0) in his next over. At one stage, his figures read 2-1-4-2.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan gave the first breakthrough by claiming opener Danushka Gunathilaka (4). He was coming back into the team after sitting out of the previous matches due to to a finger injury.

Mustafizur was also involved in the run out of Upul Tharanga (5) in his second over, as the sixth over yielded two wickets.

The back of Sri Lankan batting line-up was broken in the Powerplay as they were reduced to 35 for 4 at the end of sixth over.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz joined the party by removing Jeevan Mendis in the ninth over as Sri Lanka lost half of their batsmen for just 41 runs before Thisara and Kusal resurrected the Sri Lankan innings with a stunning batting display.

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