Naeem Islam and Shakib Al Hasan celebrate victory
Bangladesh get their second victory over Sri Lank
All-rounder Sakib al Hasan stroked a brilliant half-century as Bangladesh handed Sri Lanka a shock five-wicket defeat on Wednesday to set up a final with them in the tri-series one-day international tournament in Dhaka. Tigers needed a bonus point as well to edge out Zimbabwe, who were ahead of them on a head-to-head count following their 38-run win in the opening match. It meant they had to reach their target in 24.5 overs after bowling out Sri Lanka for 147 runs in the 31-over-a-side match. Shakib Al Hasan, with an unbeaten 92, powered Bangladesh to the Tri-Nation Cup final with a nail-biting five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in a fog-curtailed group final match on Wednesday.
The Tigers face the Lankans again in the final on Friday at the same venue. To qualify, Bangladesh needed to reach their target in 24.5 overs in the 31-over-a-side affair, cut short due to dense fog that ate up three hours of morning play. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka were on five points each including one bonus at the end of Wednesday’s thrilling play, putting Zimbabwe behind them with four points. The Tigers had a nerve-wracking start as opener Junaed Siddique, without facing a single ball, fell short of the crease after a misunderstanding with Tamim Iqbal who was also run out for nine leaving Bangladesh teetering at 11 for three in 3.5 overs. But Mohammad Ashraful and Shakib turned the match around putting on 91 runs for the fourth wicket partnership before the Bangladesh captain left the side at 102 for four in 18.5 balls. With Bangladesh needing 46 runs in 36 balls, Ashraful gave way, hooking Nuwan Kulasekara to Sanath Jayasuriya who ran across the fine leg to take a fine one-handed catch. Ashraful struck an uncharacteristic 26 off 41 balls that included just one four. Skipper Ashraful’s departure flamed the fans’ fears again but Shakib cut a path of destruction from the word go clearing the Tigers’ way. The all-rounder paired a brief 24-run partnership with Roqibul Hasan (3 off 6 balls) for the fifth wicket with the top-scorer clubbing Sri Lankan pacer Kulasekara for a four and a six in the 21st over. Bangladesh picked up another four runs in the 21st to close the gap, with the hosts needing just 22 runs in 23 balls, but Ajantha Mendis removed Roqibul to concede just one run in the next over, widening the gap again. Shakib picked up the pace again with 10 runs, including two fours, off Muttiah Muralitharan, with Bangladesh needing just a nail-biting 11 runs from 11 balls. Naeem and Shakib changed their end trice to make four runs in three balls in the 24th over before Naeem struck four and six in a row to give the home crowd a reason to go wild at the big bowl. Naeem remained unbeaten on 12 off six balls, with one six and one four, while Shakib, named man of the match, smacked 10 fours and two sixes in his unbeaten 69-ball knock.
Earlier, winning the toss in foggy conditions, Ashraful gave the new ball to Mashrafee Bin Mortaza, who didn’t let the Bangladesh captain down, providing a blitz start. The pacer trapped Upul Tharanga for a three-ball duck in the very third delivery of the day and then bowled Kumar Sangakkara for a five-ball duck in his second over leaving Sri Lanka on four for two in 2.2 overs. But, new ball partner Mahbubul Alam struggled to find line and length, allowing Sanath Jayasuriya and Mahela Jayawardene to pull back from the damage with a defiant 71 runs for the third wicket. Off-spinner Naeem, who replaced debutant pacer Rubel Hossain, removed Jayawardene for a 44-ball 28, leaving Sri Lanka at 75 for three and Mashrafee dismissed Jayasuriya in his second spell to return three for 25 in his seven overs. Jayasuriya, dropped on 28 by Roqibul off Mashrafee, quickfired 54 off 64 balls studded with seven fours. But Jehan Mubarak was the fifth batsman out for 10, triggering a collapse in the tail. Rubel, conceding 12 runs in his first two-over spell, was brought in again to claim his debut wicket off Angelo Mathews, who gave a catch to Mashrafee for a five-ball two. Mahbubul Alam inside-edged Chamara Kapugedera for a 30-ball 28, while Rubel cleaned up the tail dismissing Nuwan Kulasekara (5), Thilan Thushara (o) and Ajantha Mendis (0) in a row to return four for 33.
Bangladesh celebrate the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara, Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, Bangladesh Tri-Series.
Bangladesh’s victory was set up by debutant teenager Rubel Hossain and vice-captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza, who shared seven wickets between them after Ashraful had sent. man-of-the-match performance enabled Bangladesh to get their second victory over Sri Lanka.