Bangladesh ends its campaign without a single win
At eight for three chasing 205, Sri Lanka must have felt a tremor of fear at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, here on Thursday.
An embarrassing defeat, after all, isn’t the ideal prologue to the final of the Asia Cup. But skipper Angelo Mathews’s unbeaten half-century — that fetched him the man-of-the-match award — steered Sri Lanka out of trouble just in the nick of time.
Sri Lanka, after some huffing and puffing, prevailed over Bangladesh by three wickets with an over to spare. The host nation ended its campaign without a single win much to the disappointment of its passionate fans.
After Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, and Mahela Jayawardene perished inside the first four overs, Sri Lanka looked well and truly down for the count. But Mathews, with an able ally in Chaturanga de Silva, collected 82 runs for the sixth wicket and helped his team go past the finish line.
Mathews put a lid on the match in style with a thump over mid-wicket.
Earlier, Bangladesh, electing to bat, mounted its innings on a solid base, deriving its strength from openers Anamul Haque and Shamsur Rahman, who replaced an injured Imrul Kayes. The team’s start was unhurried as neither batsman forced himself into extravagance.
However, both Anamul and Shamsur tended to their cover-drives with exquisite flourish. It was their get-out-of-the-humdrum shot. Things proceeded with idyllic calm until the 19th over when Shamsur was trapped in front by Ajantha Mendis. The first-wicket stand had produced 74 runs.
In the last ball of the same over, Mendis spun one from the back of the hand to Mominul Haque; the left-handed batsman’s dilemma-ridden footwork couldn’t save his off-stump.
Then, in the 22nd over, left-arm spinner Chaturanga de Silva snapped up the Bangladesh captain, Mushfiqur Rahim.
Shakib Al Hasan joined Anamul and the pair continued to plod along before the latter was a victim of an outstanding athletic display.
When Anamul flicked Ashan Priyanjan towards mid-wicket, Lahiru Thirimanne leapt up, lobbed the ball, and fell. But he quickly recovered to grab the ball with a dive. Anamul missed his fifty by a run.
Soon after, Shakib was dismissed. Nasir Hossain and Mahmudullah steadied the innings and put on 55 runs for the sixth wicket.
But after Mahmudullah was vanquished by a good yorker from Suranga Lakmal, Bangladesh had little choice but to grind out the remaining overs.
Bangladesh: Anamul Haque c Thirimanne b Priyanjan 49 (86b, 2x4,1x6), Shamsur Rahman lbw b Mendis 39 (57b, 6x4), Mominul Haque b Mendis 1 (2b), Mushfiqur Rahim lbw b Chaturanga 4 (6b), Shakib Al Hasan c Mathews b Priyanjan 20 (32b, 2x4), Nasir Hossain c Jayawardene b Lakmal 30 (49b, 1x4), Mahmudullah b Lakmal 30 (41b, 2x4), Ziaur Rahman b T. Perera 12 (14b, 1x4), Arafat Sunny (not out) 2 (10b), Rubel Hossain b T. Perera 0 (1b), Al-Amin Hossain (not out) 0 (2b); Extras (b-4, lb-3, w-10): 17; Total (for nine wkts. in 50 overs): 204.
Fall of wickets: 1-74 (Shamsur), 2-76 (Mominul), 3-87 (Mushfiqur), 4-106 (Anamul), 5-119 (Shakib), 6-174 (Mahmudullah), 7-183 (N. Hossain), 8-203 (Ziaur), 9-203 (R. Hossain).
Sri Lanka bowling: Lakmal 10-0-32-2, T. Perera 8-0-29-2, Senanayake 10-1-37-0, Chaturanga 10-0-33-1, Mendis 9-0-55-2, Priyanjan 3-0-11-2.
Sri Lanka: K. Perera c Anamul b Al-Amin 0 (2b), L. Thirimanne c R. Hossain b Sunny 33 (60b, 3x4), K. Sangakkara c N. Hossain b Al-Amin 2 (5b), M. Jayawardene run out 0 (5b), A. Priyanjan c Anamul b Ziaur 24 (38b, 3x4), A. Mathews (not out) 74 (103b, 7x4, 1x6), Chaturanga c Anamul b Mahmudullah 44 (52b, 5x4), T. Perera run out 15 (23b), S. Senanayake (not out) 7 (6b, 1x4); Extras (b-4, w-5): 9; Total (for seven wkts. in 49 overs): 208.
Fall of wickets: 1-0 (K. Perera), 2-6 (Sangakkara), 3-8 (Jayawardene), 4-47 (Priyanjan), 5-75 (Thirimanne), 6-157 (Chaturanga), 7-193 (T. Perera).
Bangladesh bowling: Al-Amin 10-2-42-2, R. Hossain 6-0-25-0, Shakib 10-0-27-0, Ziaur 10-0-34-1, Sunny 7-0-46-1, Mahmudullah 6-1-30-1.
Man-of-the-Match: Angelo Mathews