Bangladesh win low-scoring thriller against Sri Lanka


Dallas: Young leg-spinner Rishad Hossain claimed a splendid 3/22 before veteran Mahmudullah Riyad kept his composure in a tricky chase as Bangladesh pipped Sri Lanka by two wickets to make a winning start to the T20 World Cup here.

On a reasonably good Dallas surface, Rishad’s googlies and leg-breaks broke the back of Lankans as his three wickets in seven deliveries restricted the islanders to 124 for 9. Rishad returned with 3/22 from his four overs.

From being 70/2 in 8.4 overs, Sri Lanka lost seven wickets for 54. Mustafizur Rahman (3/17) also bowled his customary slow off-cutters which Sri Lankans found hard to negotiate. Save Pathum Nissanka’s 47 off 28 balls, the only other 20-plus score came from Dhananjaya de Silva (21), which was a reflection of their batting performance.

In reply, Bangladesh were in cruise control as Towhid Hridoy (40 off 20 balls) smoked four sixes and enjoyed a 63-run fourth wicket stand with Litton Das (36 off 38 balls) but slinger Nuwan Thusara (4/18) brought Sri Lanka back as five wickets fell for 21 runs leaving them reeling at 113 for 8 with 12 still to get.

Veteran of many-a-battle, Mahmudullah hit a crucial six off Dasun Shanaka in the penultimate over which turned out to be a clincher for Bangladeshis. Batting at No 7, Mahmudullah finished with 16 not out from 13 balls.

With back-to-back defeats against South Africa and Bangladesh, Sri Lanka’s chances to make the Super Eight from Group D have now significantly diminished. Bangladesh, who endured a series defeat to debutants USA in the tournament build-up, would now fancy their chances with matches against the Netherlands and Nepal ahead of them.

“I think they bowled really well, but on a wicket like this, we should have won this easily. I don’t think we batted well,” Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto said. The skipper praised Litton for trying to hang around having gone through poor run of form and Hridoy, whose maximums did make it easy in the end.

“Very important for Litton, he’s been struggling a bit but he showed his skill today. I think he batted really well. Hridoy was really courageous, the way he played that over really helped us.” Sri Lankan skipper Wanindu Hasaranga admitted that he was forced to bowl his main pacers as he had very little to defend and didn’t have an option but to bowl Shanaka in the 19th over.

“We bowled with four main bowlers. I think our four genuine bowlers did their job but unfortunately we had to make four overs with our allrounders,” Hasaranga said. He also seemed unhappy with the performance of his batters as they lost the plot in the back 10.

“Our batters batted really well in the first 8-10 overs. After that in the middle overs I think we batted badly. We all know our bowling attack is our strength and if batters can put up 150-160, our bowling attack can win games. Last two games the batters didn’t do the job. It’s tough,” the skipper said.

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