Bangladesh shock Sri Lanka in feisty run chase | Sunday Observer

Bangladesh shock Sri Lanka in feisty run chase

Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis batting during their 85 runs partnership for the second wicket in the Hero Nidahas T20 match against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday. (Pic by SAMAN MENDIS)
Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis batting during their 85 runs partnership for the second wicket in the Hero Nidahas T20 match against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.(Pic by SAMAN MENDIS)

Underdogs Bangladesh threw the Hero Nidahas T20I tri-series wide open when they pulled off a stunning five-wicket win over hosts Sri Lanka in the third match played at the R Premadasa Stadium yesterday.

Chasing an imposing target of 215 Bangladesh buoyed by an opening partnership of 74 off 35 balls by Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das won with two balls to spare scoring 215 for five wickets. Former captain and wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim hit a career best 72 off 35 balls inclusive of five fours and four sixes to guide Bangladesh to a glorious win after the openers had departed in what turned out to be a record run chase – the highest in Sri Lanka and the fourth successful run chase in T20I history.

Bangladesh began their reply in bold fashion matching the Lankan openers and even doing better than them by plundering 74 runs in the first six overs of power play.

Das promoted in the batting ahead of Soumyar Sarkar powered his way to a brilliant 43 off 19 balls inclusive of five sixes and dominated an opening stand of 74 off 35 balls with Tamim Iqbal before he was castled by Nuwan Pradeep.

Tamim continued to attack the Lankan bowling but fell three short of a half century when he was dismissed for 47 scored off 29 balls with one six and six fours. Tamim was deceived by a clever change of pace by Thisara Perera and lobbed the ball back to the bowler to give him his 50th wicket in T20 internationals. Perera was the fourth Sri Lankan to achieve the milestone after Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis and Nuwan Kulasekara.

It was imperative that Bangladesh’s top order made as many runs as possible as their batting does not run very deep and the openers had provided them with just that with Mushfiqur coming and putting the icing on the cake. It was Bangladesh’s second win in their last 15 matches having lost 13.

Openers Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis got Sri Lanka off to a flier with 13 runs (including one six and one inside edged four) in the first over after Sri Lanka had been invited to bat first. The pair raised the 50 of the innings by the fourth over before Gunathilaka was dismissed bowled by Rahman for 26.

Kusal Perera and Mendis then put together a stand of 85 off 53 balls to take Sri Lanka to 141-1 before three wickets fell for nine runs off 10 balls.

Mendis playing fluently raced to a half century off 26 balls (4 sixes, 2 fours) and his last four innings in T20 internationals has produced three fifties as opener.

Perera completed his second successive half century of the series off 34 balls (6 fours, 1 six) but lost Dasun Shanaka and skipper Dinesh Chandimal cheaply. Mendis’ dismissal for 57 in the 14th over when he miscued to midwicket sparked off a mini collapse as Sri Lanka slid from 141-1 to 150-4.

Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah who put himself onto bowl in the 14th over not only picked up the prize wicket of Mendis but also sent back Dasun Shanaka for a duck. Taskin chipped in with the wicket of Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal for two.

But Upul Tharanga joining Perera regained the momentum for Sri Lanka when he took 17 off a Rubel over

Sri Lanka reaching their highest T20I total at this venue improving on the 174-5 they scored against India in the series opener last Tuesday.

At the completion of the first round of matches all three teams have one win and one loss each going into the second round on Monday when Sri Lanka take on India in what should be a crucial game for both teams.