Tigers pull off a stunner

March 29, 2013

Nasir Hossain kept his composure amid a freefall of wickets to help Bangladesh pull off a stunning three-wicket win over Sri Lanka and square the three-match series 1 -1 in Pallekele on Thursday.
Set a revised target of 183 runs in 27 overs after rain halted play for more than two hours, the Tigers scurried to 184-7 with six balls to spare to post their first win over Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
Nasir, unbeaten on 33 off 27 balls struck Thisara Perera for three fours in the penultimate over before a miss-hit by Sohag Gazi flew past wicketkeeper Kumar
Sangakkara to bring an end to the memorable contest.
The Tigers, comfortably placed at 78-1 when rain stopped play, were asked to score 105 off 80 balls they nearly made a mess of it by throwing away wickets
unnecessarily.
Anamul Haque played one over the top to depart for 40 while Mushfiqur Rahim went for a suicidal single which was never there. Jahirul Islam did his part with 26 off 18
balls but Mahmudullah chose to play the other way attempting a reverse sweep to be judged leg before wicket for six.
Lasith Malinga had just one over allotted to him after the resumption and he made good use of it getting rid of Mominul Haque and Ziaur Rahman to finally give Sri
Lanka a sniff of a chance.
But with 17 runs required in the final two overs, a fearless Nasir decided enough was enough as he hit three boundaries in the first three balls of the over to break
the hearts of Sri Lanka.
Mohammad Ashraful and Anamul gave the team a brilliant start to their chase until a dubious lbw decision ended their 77-run opening wicket stand just before rain
stopped play.
Ashraful, out lbw for 29, can consider himself unlucky as the ball of Sachithra Senanayake appeared to have taken an inside edge before it struck him on his backfoot.
The Tigers had left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak to thank for keeping
the contest alive with his 5-62, his fourth five-wicket haul, which helped them to restrict Sri Lanka to 302-9.
It could have been worse given how Sri Lanka started their innings, scoring 116 runs for the opening wicket before Bangladesh had their first breakthrough in the game.
Mahmudullah had Kusal Perera caught by Nasir at point for 56, although it failed to bring any relief. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara added another 87 runs
for the second wicket to give the hosts complete control in the match.
Razzak began his haul dismissing Sangakkara, who scored 48, and took two quick wickets in his second spell to put a brake in Sri Lanka’s run-rate. Gazi also
maintained a tight line from the other end as Sri Lanka lost five wickets for 36 runs.
Dilshan was still at the crease having completed his second century in the series and Bangladesh needed a touch of brilliance in the field to get his wicket. Nasir
jumped high to take a blinder at short mid-wicket as Dilshan departed after making 125 off 128 balls.
Shahadat Hossain, the worst among the five bowlers used by Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, accounted for Dilshan’s wicket before he finished with 1-71 on his ODI
comeback.
Razzak returned to bowl his final over to take two wickets in two consecutive balls, which completed his five-wicket haul and made him the first Bangladeshi bowler to
take 200 wickets in one-dayers.
Sri Lanka could only cross the 300-run mark after Lahiru Thirimanne, who was unbeaten on 25 off 15 balls struck him for a six in the last ball of the innings.
Bangladesh still had reasons to feel elated as it was far too less than what they had feared at the start of the Sri Lankan innings.

-With New Age input

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