Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by two wickets in the final group league match to confirm their place in the Super Fours of the Asia Cup on Thursday at Dubai International Stadium. Both teams were failed to Afghanistan in their respective first matches in Asia Cup as Afghanistan entered in to the Super 4 with two consecutive wins. As it was a knock-out match, it was equally important for both teams to win the match.
Sri Lanka won the crucial toss in the fifth match of the tournament and elected to field first.
Sent in to bat, Bangladesh put up a healthy total of 183 for seven, but Sri Lanka outstrip the target with four balls to spare. Mehindy Hasan Miraz (38), Mahmadullah (27), Afif Hossain (39), and Mossadek Hossain (24) performed well for Bangladesh.
All five bowlers of Sri Lanka picked up wickets in the game. But a few of them like Asitha Fernando and Wanindu Hasaranga were a little expensive.
Chasing the target, the openers Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka has given Sri Lanka a good start. They put up a 45-run opening partnership, but two quick wickets lowered their scoring rate. Even though Kusal Mendis got a lifeline as he was dismissed on a no-ball. Then he went on to match up a half-century ending his innings in 60 runs of just 37 balls. With the match-winning performance, Mendis has been awarded the player-of-the-match.
Even after his dismissal, Sri Lanka keeps scoring runs despite consistently losing wickets. They still had hope as their skipper Dasun Shanaka was remaining to bat for them. In the end, Shanaka played a good 45-run knock from 33 balls but couldn’t reach the finishing line. It was Chamika Karunaratne’s 16 runs and Asitha Fernando’s 10 runs that sealed a convincing victory for Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh was unable to take early wickets but took two crucial wickets in the last over of the power play. It was Ebadot Hossain who has given a breakthrough in the game. Hossain has got 3 wickets in the game.
Bangladesh may be disappointed with the number of extras they conceded. But they were good in the field as they took almost all the chances that came their way. Taskin Ahmed has taken two wickets in his four overs just conceding 24 runs.
The game has been a thriller right till the end as there was no way to predict the end of the game. For Bangladesh, the tournament has come to an end here with the loss. The Sri Lankan tail-enders keep the game towards the end and sealed a wonderful victory chasing down the highest total in Asia Cup T20. Sri Lanka will now face Afghanistan and later India in the Super 4 stage.
There is one more match left in the group stage on 2nd September. Pakistan will take on Hong Kong in the match and the winner will get qualified for the Super Fours. The winner of the match will also play with India, Afghanistan, and Sri Lanka in the Super 4 stage. The final match of the Asia Cup will be held on 11th September at Dubai International Stadium.
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