Monday, February 26, 2024

Bangladesh dash Sri Lanka’s semifinals hopes

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New Delhi, Nov 6: Angelo Mathews became the first batter to be timed out in international cricket as Bangladesh officially knocked Sri Lanka out of the World Cup with a three-wicket win in a dramatic match, which was held amid severe air pollution here on Monday.
Despite the AQI hovering close to the 400 mark, it was business as usual after the two teams braved toxic conditions as Bangladesh bowled Sri Lanka out for 279 in 49.3 overs, with Charith Asalanka scoring a 105-ball 108.
But Bangladesh chased down the target with 53 balls to spare.
Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan (82), who took 2 for 57 with the ball, and Najmul Hossain Shanto (90) shared a 169-run stand off 147 balls to lay the foundation of the run chase.
From 210 for 2, Bangladesh slumped to 269 for 7 before romping home in 41.1 overs with Tanzim Hasan Sakib (9) scoring the winning runs.
The win snapped Bangladesh’s six-match losing streak and kept them in the race for the Champions Trophy qualification, while denting Sri Lanka’s chances for the 2025 event in Pakistan.
The top seven teams from this World Cup will qualify for the Champions Trophy, while Pakistan, being the hosts, have qualified automatically.
For Sri Lanka, it was their sixth loss in eight games.
Both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, who are at four points each, need to finish inside the top-8 to make the cut.
Earlier, Mathews’ controversial ‘timed-out’ dismissal almost derailed the Sri Lankan innings but Asalanka’s timely hundred took them to 279 all out.
Asalanka smashed six fours and five maximums during his gritty 108, his second ODI ton, to carry the team on his shoulders even as drama unfolded in the middle overs with Mathews getting out in a bizarre fashion.
Asalanka forged a 63-run partnership with Sadeera Samarawickrama (41), before adding 78 off 82 balls with Dhananjaya de Silva (34). He also shared 45 off 48 balls with Maheesh Theekshana (22). Opener Pathum Nissanka also contributed with a 36-ball 41.
Chasing the total, Bangladesh lost two quick wickets with Dhilshan Madushanka accounting for both the openers — Tanzid Hasan (9) and Litton Das (23).
However, Shakib and Shanto steadied the ship, taking them across the 100-mark in the 18th over.
Shakib was lucky to survive when he was dropped at covers by Asalanka off Mathews. He made it count, slamming 12 fours and two sixes in his over two-hour stay at the crease.
Mathews, however, removed both the set batters — dismissing Shakib in the 32nd over and then Shanto chopped on to the stumps.
Shanto had 12 hits to the fence during his 101-ball innings.
Needing 69 in 16.4 overs, Mahmudullah (22) and Mushfiqur Rahim (10) added another 38 runs but they were back in the hut, followed by Mehidy Hasan Miraz (3) before Towhid Hridoy (15) and Tanzim Sakib took them home.
Earlier, opting to field, Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahman produced a stunning catch to get rid of Kusal Perera (4) but Nissanka smashed Shoriful Islam for three fours in the third over to shake off the early jitters.
The opener did most of the damage as Sri Lanka reached 52 for 2 in the first power play.
Bangladesh struck back with regular wickets to stem the run flow.
However, Asalanka rebuild with the tail and helped Sri Lanka post a competitive 279. (PTI)

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