Asia Cup: Sri Lanka pips Bangladesh, enters playoffs

Kusal and Shanaka star in successful chase after spinner Theekshana’s good spell

Kusal and Shanaka star in successful chase after spinner Theekshana’s good spell

Sri Lanka sneaked past Bangladesh by two wickets in their Group B match of the Asia Cup to seal a Super 4 spot at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Thursday. The loss sent Bangladesh out of the tournament.

Chasing 184, Sri Lanka required 34 runs off the last three overs. Bangladesh pacer Ebadot Hossain, making his T20I debut, conceded 17 runs in the 19th over to let the advantage slip. Kusal Mendis (60, 37b, 4×6, 3×6) and Dasun Shanaka (45, 33b, 3×4, 2×6) kept the Lankan chase on track.

After being put in to bat, Bangladesh rode on handy knocks from Mehidy Hasan (38, 26b, 2×4, 2×6), Afif Hossain (39, 22b, 4×4, 2×6) and Mosaddek Hossain (24 n.o., 9b, 4×4) to post 183 for seven.

Coming alive

Mosaddek came alive in the final over, bowled by Asitha Fernando, hitting the pacer for a six and two fours. The Bangladesh batters used any pace on offer to play the paddle scoop. The Sri Lankans erred by keeping fine-leg inside the circle and spraying it down the leg.

Spinner Maheesh Theekshana, brought into the attack in the second over, was the pick of the bowlers. Theekshana’s spin and pace variations presented a puzzle, one which the Bangladesh batters struggled to solve. He cleaned up captain Shakib Al Hasan, who made room for an inside-out hit but missed the ball completely.

Fellow-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga picked up two wickets, but proved to be expensive. Fast bowler Fernando, making his T20I debut, went for 51 runs in his four overs.

Bangladesh was boosted by the presence of a sizeable contingent of its fans in the stadium.

The scores: Bangladesh 183/7 in 20 overs (Mehidy Hasan Miraz 38, Afif Hossain 39, Mahmudullah 27) lost to Sri Lanka 184/8 in 19.2 overs (Kusal Mendis 60, Dasun Shanaka 45, Ebadot Hossain 3/51); Toss: Sri Lanka; MoM: Kusal Mendis.

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