Sri Lanka has emerged victorious over Bangladesh, clinching a 21-run win in the Asia Cup Super Four match on Saturday. The triumph not only solidified Sri Lanka’s dominance but also extended their remarkable ODI winning streak to 13 consecutive victories, marking an impressive milestone.
In a contest that came to be known as the ‘Nagin Derby,’ Sri Lanka demonstrated superior control over both their spells and nerves, ultimately securing a hard-fought victory.
Bangladesh, tasked with chasing a modest target of 258, initially adopted an attacking approach reminiscent of Sri Lanka’s innings. The opening ten overs witnessed aggressive batting from Mohammad Naim and Mehidy Hasan, as they amassed 28 runs. The Tigers maintained a healthy run rate, accumulating 47 runs within the first ten overs.
Despite the solid start, the game took a dramatic turn when Sri Lanka’s skipper, Dasun Shanaka, took matters into his own hands. Shanaka dismissed the in-form batsman Hasan for 28 (29), setting off a batting collapse within the Bangladesh lineup.
In his next over, Shanaka claimed the prized wicket of Naim, who had contributed 21 runs off 46 balls. This double blow within the first 20 overs tilted the match firmly in favor of the hosts.
Mushfiqur Rahim and Towhid Hridoy then forged a partnership that briefly reignited Bangladesh’s hopes. However, Shanaka remained determined not to let the game slip from Sri Lanka’s grasp. He dismissed Rahim for 29, hastening Bangladesh’s downfall.
Hridoy persevered in his pursuit of victory, holding one end and maintaining a balanced run-to-ball ratio. As partners rotated, Hridoy’s determination seemed to bring Bangladesh closer to the finish line. However, a single over from Maheesh Theekshana completely altered the course of the game. Theekshana not only claimed Hridoy’s wicket but also sent Taskin Ahmed back to the pavilion in the same over, sealing Sri Lanka’s triumph.
A late resurgence from Shoriful Islam and Hasan Mahmud briefly reignited Bangladesh’s hopes, but Matheesha Pathirana intervened by dislodging Shoriful’s stumps, securing a 21-run victory for the Lankans.
Opting to field first, Bangladesh struck early by dismissing opener Dimuth Karunaratne in the sixth over, courtesy of Hasan Mahmud.
Kusal Mendis joined Pathum Nissanka, and together, they orchestrated a robust 50-run partnership on a pitch favoring spinners. The duo consistently found the boundary against Bangladesh’s bowlers, ensuring a steady scoring rate.
However, Bangladesh’s spinners regained control during the next 10 overs, restricting Sri Lanka to a mere 30 runs in a gripping phase of play. Sri Lankan batsmen focused on protecting their wickets, setting the stage for a captivating showdown.
Eventually, Shoriful Islam broke through, dismissing Nissanka for 40 (60), ending a fruitful partnership. Kusal Mendis persevered and reached his 24th ODI half-century, but his innings was cut short by Shoriful Islam in the 26th over.
Further breakthroughs followed, with Mahmud claiming Dhananjaya de Silva’s wicket. Sadeera Samarawickrama displayed remarkable resilience, bringing up his fifty in just 45 balls.
Captain Dasun Shanaka contributed a brief yet crucial innings of 24 before being dismissed by Hasan Mahmud in the 47th over. In the final over, Samarawickrama managed to collect 11 runs, guiding Sri Lanka to a total of 257/9. His valiant effort concluded on the last delivery of the match.
- Sri Lanka 257/9 (Sadeera Samarawickrama 93, Kusal Mendis 50; Hasan Mahmud 3-57)
- Bangladesh 236/10 (Towhid Hridoy 82, Mushfiqur Rahim 29; Dasun Shanaka 3-28).