Bangladesh Triumphs Over Sri Lanka in a Nail-Biting 2 Wickets Victory

Bangladesh emerged victorious by two wickets against Sri Lanka in an intense T20 World Cup 2024 showdown.

Thushara’s 4 for 18 against Bangladesh made things difficult, but Mahmudullah’s experience helped them get through.

Bangladesh Triumphs Over Sri Lanka in a Nail-Biting 2 Wickets Victory
Nuwan Thushara finished with the figure of 4 for 18. ICC/Getty Images

Sri Lanka 124 for 9 (Nissanka 47, Mustafizur 3-17, Rishad 3-22) lost against Bangladesh 125 for 8 (Hridoy 40, Litton 36, Thushara 4-18) by two wickets.

Late in the game, Sri Lanka roared back into the match thanks to Nuwan Thushara’s final over. After dismissing Rishad Hossain, he hit Taskin Ahmed with a precise swinging yorker just in front of the stumps. With 12 runs remaining and eight wickets lost, Bangladesh appeared to be about to lose the match.

But in their first match of the T20 World Cup 2024, Bangladesh’s seasoned batsman Mahmudullah overcame some more nerve-wracking moments to propel his team over the boundary with the final ball of the 19th over.

Apart from Sri Lanka’s late surge, Bangladesh’s superb first-inning bowling was mostly responsible for the outcome of this match. The most effective of them, Mustafizur Rahman, achieved figures of 3 for 17 by utilizing his cutters effectively and shorter lengths. In the middle overs, Rishad’s three-for also held Sri Lanka at bay.

Mustafizur had a particularly significant role in Sri Lanka’s decline during the middle overs, which ended in a crash-and-burn conclusion. In the end, Sri Lanka failed to score runs or even rotate strikes against a strong Bangladeshi bowling attack. On a good pitch, 125 for 9 always appeared like a bad score, even though their bowlers eventually made up for it.

It never ought to have come this close. Bangladesh, needing only 25 runs to win, had five wickets in hand, and its two most experienced batsmen, Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan, were at the crease with five overs remaining.

However, Maheesh Theekshana made an incredible diving catch at deep third, racing in from the rope to intercept the ball inches from the ground after Shakib uppercut a short ball hit by Matheesha Pathirana.

Then, in the next over, the eighteenth of the innings, Sri Lanka’s other slinger, Thushara, claimed two wickets in two balls. He first bowled Rishad, who had attempted to smash him inside out over cover, and then he nailed Taskin with a toe-crusher that would have struck leg stump.

Bangladesh still needed twelve balls, and Thushara had three balls remaining in the over. The only way Sri Lanka could take the match would be if he took one more wicket before his spell was out. But Mahmudullah was on strike in the following over, and Tanzim Hasan Sakib lived.

After Dasun Shanaka bowled the next over (Sri Lanka had exhausted all of their front-liners trying to get wickets), Mahmudullah calmed Bangladesh’s fears with a thigh-high full toss into the deep square leg stands.

However, there was still drama to be had. Mahmudullah took a daring single to mid-off with two runs needed, but he was anxious to keep strike off the final ball of the 19th over. Had Wanindu Hasaranga connected with his shy at the stumps, he would have been out. Yet, the captain of Sri Lanka chose not to, and as a result, Bangladesh was unable to cross the finish line.

However, the final seven overs of Sri Lanka’s innings were the most important part of the game. With 100 runs scored and seven wickets in hand, they were in fair condition when the 14th over got underway.

Then, though, they fell hard. After his teammates had held Asalanka quiet for much of the middle overs, Rishad initially dismissed him, having him caught slog sweeping at deep square leg. He got Hasaranga caught at slip with a dipping and gripping ball in the next ball.

Also Read: Rashid, Farooqi, and Gurbaz Shine as Afghanistan Dominates New Zealand in T20 World Cup

Bangladesh Triumphs Over Sri Lanka in a Nail-Biting 2 Wickets Victory
Bangladesh lost late wickets, and Mahmudullah's undefeated 16 proved to be critical. ICC/Getty Images

Due to this double blow, Sri Lanka lost their next six wickets for a total of 25 runs. Almost in frustration, hitters repeatedly attempted cross-batted smashes against bowlers who varied their pace, only managing to get out after hitting only one boundary in the final six overs. During this time, Rishad claimed three wickets, while Taskin, Mustafizur, and Tanzim Hasan each claimed one.

It was down to their finest batsman, opener Pathum Nissanka, that Sri Lanka even reached 125 instead of blowing out in double figures as they did against South Africa. Throughout his 28-ball innings, he hit seven fours and a six, mainly to the leg side, with a strike rate of 168.

After Mustafizur dismissed Nissanka with a cutter at the end of the ninth over, Sri Lanka’s innings took a turn for the worst, as they managed just two deliberate boundaries (seriously). Up till then, Sri Lanka had a run rate higher than 7.50. It was less than five after that.

Considering the final score of the match, Towhid Hridoy’s four sixes, all against Hasaranga, also had an effect. At the beginning of the twelfth over, three of them came back to back to back. The third was a stunning inside-out shot over cover, while the previous two were slog sweeps.

Hridoy had already delivered the crucial blows, but Hasaranga would trap him leg before wicket on the following delivery. With two wickets remaining and one over remaining, Bangladesh was able to win with a stutter near the end thanks to these sixes.

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