Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bangladesh win despite Jayasuriya's heroics

Shakib Al Hasan's powerhouse batting and inspired bowling performances from vice-captain Mashrafe Mortaza and debutant Rubel Hossain ensured Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka in the third match of the tri-series and, more importantly, secured a place in the final on Friday, where they will face the same opposition again.

In a must-win match for them, reduced by bad light to 31 overs each, Bangladesh restricted Sri Lanka to 147 before Shakib's 92 off 69 balls completed the win. A fourth-wicket stand of 91 between Shakib and captain Mohammad Ashraful helped them pick up the bonus point as well to end the hopes of Zimbabwe, the third team in the competition.

Ashraful's decision to field, paid off immediately with Mortaza striking twice in his first two overs, removing Upul Tharanga and Kumar Sangakkara. He then removed Sri Lanka's top-scorer Sanath Jayasuriya, whose fifty was largely responsible for pushing the visitors to a somewhat respectable total.

Jayasuriya's 64-ball innings included seven boundaries, but failed to encourage the other batsmen as the middle and lower orders fell apart. Rubel helped himself to the spoils, ending with 4 for 33, and was responsible for the damage towards the end.

Bangladesh celebrate the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara
The reduced overs resulted in a 6-3-3 Powerplay split, with a maximum of seven overs for any one bowler and six each for four others. Mortaza struck with the third ball of the morning, trapping Tharanga leg before. In his next over, he produced an identical delivery to castle Kumar Sangakkara.

Rubel was given a hostile welcome to international cricket by Jayasuriya, who hit him for two fours in his first over and then got a life when Raqibul Hasan failed to pull off a catch off a short delivery from Mortaza.

Bangladesh then opted for spin at both ends through Naeem Islam and Shakib Al Hasan. Naeem managed to break the stand in the 18th over when Jayawardene holed out to Rubel at deep-midwicket while attempting a slog sweep.

Mortaza was then brought on soon after and had Jayasuriya caught and bowled shortly after bringing up his half-century as Sri Lanka found themselves in a spot of bother at 95 for 4.

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