Bangladesh pulled off a record chase to stun Sri Lanka by five wickets in the Nidahas Twenty20 Tri-Series, ending their recent run of defeats against the islanders.
Chasing a mammoth 215, Bangladesh, thanks to Mushfiqur Rahim’s 35-ball 72, crossed the line in 19.4 overs for the loss of five wickets. This was the fourth highest run chase in T20 Internationals and Bangladesh’s best. Mushfiqur slammed four sixes and five boundaries in his unbeaten knock.
Bangladesh’s raced to 74 in just six overs before Liton Das, who made a 19-ball 43, was dismissed.
They kept up with the required rate as Tamim Iqbal (47) and Soumya Sarkar (24) continued the attack to help their team reach 100 in the 10th over. The former, offering a return catch to Thisara Perera, was dismissed in the same over. Sarkar got out in a similar fashion in the 15th over bowled by Nuwan Pradeep.
The experienced Mushfiqur Rahim and skipper Mahmudullah then joined hands in the middle. The pair put on 42 runs in quick time to take their team close to the target before Mahmudullah got out in the 18th over.
Bangladesh lost another wicket, of Sabbir Rahman, owing to poor running between the wickets but Mushfiqur stayed till the end to ensure his team’s win.
The Kusal and Kusal show
Earlier, blazing half-centuries by Kusal Mendis and Kusal Perera powered Sri Lanka to a formidable 214 for six after Bangladesh opted to bowl.
Mendis (57) and Perera (74) toyed with the Bangladesh attack with a flurry of boundaries that delighted the home crowd at the Premadasa Stadium.
Sri lanka were off to a flying start with Mendis putting on 56 runs for the opening wicket with Danushka Gunathilaka (26). Bangladesh pacers were guilty of bowling short and the Lankans hammered them for 70 runs in the Powerplay.
Mendis hit 57 off 30 balls with the help of five sixes and two fours, Perera found the fence eight times and cleared it twice in his 48-ball knock. That set the tone for a big total and even after Mustafizur Rahman had cleaned up Gunathilaka for 26.
There was a lull from seventh to ninth over, as the hosts managed just 16 runs in 18 balls.
But Perera and Upul Tharanga put on a 55-run stand in just 26 balls for the fifth wicket to take the hosts past 200.
Mustafizur Rahman (3/48) and Mahmudullah (2/15) were the successful bowlers for Bangladesh.