Sunday, 24th October , 2021, 10:01 pm,BDST

Lion beat Tigers

Two crucial dropped catches by Liton Das and two explosive fifties from Sri Lanka batters Charith Asalanka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa helped the Lankans take the game away from the Tigers’ grasp and win by five wickets in the two sides’ first Super 12 stage game of the ongoing T20 World Cup at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium today. 

Asalanka’s unbeaten 49-ball 80 and Rajapaksa’s 53 off 31 saw Sri Lanka chase down Bangladesh’s competitive total of 171 for four in 18.5 overs with five wickets to spare. 

Bangladesh, however, looked in control of the game at one stage. Nasum Ahmed gave the Tigers their first breakthrough in the very first over of the game when he removed opener Kusal Perera and reduced Sri Lanka to two for one. Sri Lanka then staged an impressive comeback as Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka stitched together a 69-run second-wicket stand. 

However, courtesy of Shakib Al Hasan’s double strike in the ninth over and Saifuddin removing Wanindu Hasaranga in the following over, Bangladesh bounced back well and truly in the game with Sri Lanka at 79 for four after 9.4 overs. Shakib also became the leading wicket-taker in T20 World Cups when he ended the crucial stand between Asalanka and Nissanka by castling the stumps of the latter following a 21-ball 24. Shakib also shattered the stumps of Avishka Fernando in the same over. 

But Bangladesh failed to exert pressure after that, with Rajapaksa and Asalanka taking the game away from the Tigers’ grasp with an explosive 86-run fifth-wicket stand. Both Rajapaksa and Asalanka were spared by Liton. Rajapaksa, who struck three fours and as many maximums, was dropped on 12 by Liton in the 13th. Liton also dropped the most important catch of Asalanka on 63 in the 15th over. 

Asalanka was the destroyer in chief, smashing five maximums and as many fours during his unbeaten carnage as Bangladesh eventually succumbed to their second defeat in this edition’s marquee event.

For Bangladesh, Shakib was the most impressive with the ball, registering figures of two for 17 in his three overs. 

Meanwhile, earlier, Mushfiqur Rahim ended his lean patch with the bat as his unbeaten 37-ball 57 and opener Mohammad Naim’s 52-ball 62 helped Bangladesh to a competitive total. 

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