WC: Najmal, Shakib shine as Bangladesh win against Sri Lanka despite late hiccup
By siliconindia | Tuesday, 07 November 2023, 09:19:29 AM IST
Najmul Hossain Shanto (90) and Shakib Al Hasan (82) missed their centuries but helped Bangladesh record their second win in the ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2023, beating Sri Lanka by three wickets with 53 balls to spare. Najmul Hossain and Shakib Al Hasan stitched together a 169-run partnership for the third wicket as Bangladesh scored 282/7 in 41.1 overs after bundling out Sri Lanka for 279 in 49.3 overs at the Arun Jaitley Stadium. With this win, Bangladesh moved to seventh position with four points from two wins while Sri Lanka remained on four wickets from eight matches and in eighth position.
Chasing 280 for a win, Bangladesh lost openers Tanzid Hasan and Litton Das early in the Powerplay to Madushanka, who continued his impressive new-ball spells. But having raced off the blocks early, Bangladesh only needed to consolidate and Shakib Al Hasan and Najmul Hossain Shanto did just that forging a strong partnership to keep the run rate on par with the required rate. With the pitch easing under lights and dew in abundance, the ball came onto the bat and the two left-handers made merry, scoring at a brisk rate and piling the pressure on Sri Lanka.
But Angelo Mathews exacted revenge for a first-innings mishap that saw him timed out by sending back Shakib with a cutter that found the leading edge and promptly gave him a send-off. He went on to find seam movement with the scrambled ball and forced an inside edge off Shanto to clean him up next over. With Bangladesh less than fifty runs away from a win, it didn't seem like a huge blow until Madushanka and Maheesh Theekshana sent back Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah in quick succession. Mehidy Hasan Miraz was out with Bangladesh 11 runs away but Bangladesh got home with more than enough balls to spare to register their first-ever win over Sri Lanka in the men's Cricket World Cup.
Earlier, opting to bowl first Bangladesh made an early breakthrough when Mushfiqur Rahim pulled off a sensational catch behind the wicket to dismiss Kusal Perera in the first over. Kusal Mendis, who got off to a rather sedate start in uncharacteristic fashion, was dismissed by Shakib in his first over with the batter playing a mistimed stroke straight to mid-on. The veteran Sri Lankan all-rounder took his time to walk in and then found that his helmet strap had broken, further delaying his entry.
An appeal from Bangladesh followed and it was upheld with the Cricket World Cup playing conditions stating that a batter can be "timed out" if he is not "ready to receive the next ball within 2 minutes of the dismissal or retirement". Asalanka carried the side forward amidst the chaos with Dhananjaya de Silva offering good support and the half-century stand lifted Sri Lanka out of trouble.
De Silva fell for 34 in another odd sequence of play. The Sri Lankan was stumped out despite Rahim removing the bails with his gloves first as the Bangladesh wicketkeeper could take his time and recover to remove the stumps a second time with De Silva still not attempting to get back. Asalanka went on to make a fine hundred with Maheesh Theekshana aiding him but the final flourish never arrived as Bangladesh kept chipping away with wickets. They finished on 279, making just 56 runs in the last 57 balls of the innings.
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