Asia Cup 2022, Group B, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka: Taskin Ahmed's 2-24, Mahmudullah-Afif Hossain's 57-run stand and Kusal Mendis-Dasun Shanaka's 54-run partnership are top performances. Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by two wickets and enter Super 4.
Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 184/8 (Kusal Mendis 60, Dasun Shanaka 45, Ebadot 3/51) beat Bangladesh 183/7 (Mehidy Hasan 38, Afif Hossain 39, Chamika Karunaratne 2/32) by 2 wickets
Player of the Match: Kusal Mendis 60 (37) & 2 catches
Both these teams suffered thrashing defeats at the hands of Afghanistan in their respective previous encounters and this was basically a knockout game.
Before this crucial game began, there was a lot of noise from both the camps as they took shots at each other.
Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka took a jibe saying that Bangladesh is relatively easier to beat than Afghanistan and they have no bowlers apart from Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan to threaten his side. Khaled Mahmud, Bangladesh coach, responded to this by stating Sri Lanka don’t have a single world-class bowler in their arsenal.
Lack of quality pace-bowling option in death overs hurt Bangladesh badly as SL made it through
What transpired on the field was a close game between these two bitter rivals and Shanaka had the last laugh as his prophetic words ringed true with Bangladesh lacking the killer punch in their death bowling arsenal. They struggled to contain a destructive, yet under-pressure Sri Lanka batting line-up in the closing stages of the game as they ran out of pace bowling options at the death and were forced to employ their spinners in the 18th to 20th overs. With some hefty blows, the Lankan Lions sealed the game to book a spot in the Super 4 round.
Bangladesh would have like to have depth in their pace bowling department or a pace bowling all-rounder who can chip in few overs. They had to bowl off-spinner Mahedi in the 18th and 20th overs of the chase.
Ebadot Hossain had a night to forget in Dubai. Making his debut, the pacer took three wickets in his first two overs, giving away 13 runs. However, his last two overs proved to be detrimental for his team as he gave away 39 runs (22+17) in those overs. This essentially took the game away from Bangladesh’s hands.
Earlier in the night, Sri Lanka won the toss and as expected opted to field in this important match of Asia Cup 2022. Bangladesh made as many as three changes with Sabbir Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Ebadot Hossain (making his T20I debut), replacing Anamul Haque, Mohammed Naim and Mohammad Saifuddin. On the other hand, Sri Lanka handed a debut cap to Asitha Fernando who came in for Matheesha Pathirana.
Head-to-Head: The two sides had met on 12 occasions in T20Is prior to this encounter and Sri Lanka came out on top eight times. However, all of Bangladesh’s four wins have been since 2016.
Bangladesh batters show intent that head coach Khaled Mahmud had asked for
Put in to bat first, Bangladesh sprung a surprise with regards to their opening pair. Sabbir Rahman, who is a finisher, came to open with all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz. Despite losing Sabbir early for 5, Bangladesh made 55/1 in the powerplay, the highest in the tournament thus far. Mahedi scored a quickfire 38 off 26 before getting bowled off Wanindu Hasaranga.
Shakib scratched his way to 24 but was castled by Theekshana’s brilliance. Despite losing wickets at regular intervals, a 57-run stand between Mahmudullah and Afif Hossain from 37 balls along with a blistering 9-ball 24 from Mosaddek Hossain took Bangladesh to 183/7.
Sri Lanka win a memorable thriller
Sri Lanka’s young but talented top-order was put to test in this tall chase. Openers Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka made the best use of powerplay making 45 off just 27 balls. But Ebadot Hossain’s spell completely changed the complexion of the game. Sri Lanka lost 4-32 in the next 20 balls and lost the plot.
But Kusal Mendis kept the pace of scoring high and helped Sri Lanka inch closer to the target thanks to his 54-run stand with skipper Dasun Shanaka. A massive 13th over from Ebadot changed the momentum back in Sri Lanka’s favour as they rattled up 22 runs in that over. And despite losing wickets, Sri Lanka eventually won this thriller by 2 wickets with four balls to spare. This is Sri Lanka’s 2nd highest successful run chase in T20Is.
Let’s take a look at the top three performances from the game between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in Asia Cup 2022.
Afif Hossain and Mahmudullah 57-run stand resurrects Bangladesh innings
After a solid start in the powerplay, making 55 runs for the loss of Sabbir Rahman, Bangladesh lost their way a bit losing two wickets in the next two overs in the form of Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mushfiqur Rahim. Shakib Al Hasan too departed in the 11th over with the scorecard reading 87/4.
Then the pair of impressive Afif Hossain (39 off 22 balls) and experienced campaigner Mahmudullah kept the Lankan bowlers at bay with their attacking mindset. Their 37-ball 57 run stand helped Bangladesh to post a challenging total and put Sri Lanka under immense pressure.
Taskin Ahmed impresses across departments
The speedster first played a crucial cameo innings of 11 from 6 in the end stage of Bangladesh innings and along with Mosaddek propelled the Bangladesh total to 183. He then took two catches on the field, one of which was a sensational running grab to dismiss Danushka Gunathilaka (11).
Taskin Ahmed also chipped in with the ball taking two crucial wickets and giving away only 24 runs in a high-scoring game.
Kusal Mendis and Dasun Shanka’s stand inspires SL to a thrilling win
When all of his teammates were falling like a pack of cards, Kusal Mendis (60 off 37) showed why he is rated so highly. With luck favouring him on multiple occasions, he kept Sri Lanka in the hunt courtesy a 54-run stand with skipper Dasun Shanaka (45 from 33) who played a brilliant hand himself. They accumulated that in 34 balls and the pair made sure the scoreboard was ticking despite the demolition of their top and middle-order.
This inspired a magnificent run-chase as Sri Lanka creamed past Bangladesh by 2 wickets with four balls to spare. The likes of Chamika Karunaratne and Asitha Fernando played a key hand in this run-chase with some well-directed blows at the death.
What’s to Come
Sri Lanka became the 3rd team to reach Super 4, joining Afghanistan and India. Bangladesh now have to make an early exit in this edition after losing both their games.
Pakistan will take on Hong Kong on Friday in Sharjah to determine the fourth qualifier to Super 4. Read More: Asia Cup 2022: Group A, Ind vs Pak: Pandya stamps authority (3-25 & 33*); India win by 5 wickets